Former BHS student makes immigration film


Director Zach Ingrasci began helping the world while attending Bainbridge High School.

It was then that he worked on the Netza Project which provided education to indigenous children in Mexico. Growing up on BI, he played lacrosse and football, which he then played in college at Claremont McKenna.

He wanted a career that would have a social impact, so he went into filmmaking. His latest effort is called Five Years North.

The award-winning documentary is the coming-of-age story of Luis, a 16-year-old undocumented Guatemalan boy who has just arrived in New York. As he struggles to work, study and escape the ICE, veteran ICE officer Judy struggles with the toll of her labor and weighs its human cost even as her young son seeks to follow in his footsteps. This film is an intimate and personal look at the immigration system.

The film premieres on October 5 at 5 p.m. PST. on the WORLD channel and It is part of the America ReFramed documentary series. It is presented as part of a program of documentary films showcasing Latin Hispanic culture during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Ingrasci is a director and founder of Optimist. Best known for making the feature documentaries Living On One Dollar and Salam Neighbor, his films have been released on Netflix, Amazon Prime, National Geographic and The Atlantic. Each Optimist film is accompanied by an impact campaign. His projects have raised more than $ 91.5 million for film causes. He’s also passionate about mentoring and supporting other up-and-coming queer filmmakers, his biography online.

Over the past decade, the Latinx population in America has grown by 23%, but issues like immigration, housing, and education persist and affect many Hispanic communities across the country. Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans and the Latinx community to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

“Hispanic heritage, just like black or Asian heritage, is America’s heritage,” Chris Hastings, WORLD Channel executive producer told GBH in Boston. “It’s important to celebrate all of the cultures that make up America, and the best way to do that is to share unique and impactful stories that everyone can connect with.”

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