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Héroes Magníficos is a partnership effort of the NW Film Center, Milagro Theatre and other partners to reflect on and celebrate the importance of everyday heroes in the lives of Portland, Oregon, Latino youth. The project is part of the Film Center’s on-going effort to give voice to under-represented communities through opportunities to watch, learn and make film.

Special thanks to:

  Joan M. Corcoran Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation

Héroes Magníficos from NW Film Center on Vimeo.

Through the project, in the spring of 2016, Latino teens from Portland area high schools gathered at the North Portland and Rockwood branches of the Multnomah County Library for a week-long spring break filmmaking camp led by the Film Center’s faculty of teaching artists. Working with documentary filmmaking equipment provided by a grant from the Mount Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, the youth created this film about the everyday heroes in their lives – the parents, older siblings, teachers, friends and community activists who are supporting their personal aspirations for community service and leadership.

The film screened initially to live audiences at various branches of the Multnomah County Library and was cablecast on the Film Center’s monthly cable television series.

The project was inspired by the spring 2016 Milagro Theatre adaptation and performance of Luis Urrea’s award-winning novel, INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH, and  complemented the Multnomah County Library’s systemwide 2016 year-long celebration, LATINO AMERICANS: 500 YEARS OF HISTORY.  Its success is inspiring the OREGON LATINO ORAL HISTORY PROJECT, which is recording the life stories of respected Latino community leaders around the state.

Héroes Magníficos – Interviews with Olga Sanchez & José González from NW Film Center on Vimeo.

Milagro Theater Executive Director José González and Artistic Director Emerita Olga Sanchez talk about the work and mission of Milagro Theatre, its adaptation of Luis Urrea’s award-winning novel, INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH, into its first stage performance in the spring of 2016, and how the adaptation inspired the Héroes Magníficos project. They were interviewed by the youth participating in the spring break camp above.