Cultural and historical factors shape Mexican American writers as they employ poetry and spoken word to navigate their struggles and celebrate life


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BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD - 2003 CineFestival San Antonio | Broadcasted on Regional Public Television

Chicano Studies • Latino Literature • Border Studies • History • Poetry • American Literature • Texas

Date of Completion: 2002 | Run Time: 55 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Director: Ray Santisteban | Producer: Ray Santisteban

Mexican Americans in Texas have consistently used poetry and spoken word to navigate their struggles, interpret history, and celebrate life. Showcasing a diverse spectrum of writers drawn from bustling urban centers and small border towns, VOICES FROM TEXAS probes the cultural and historical factors that have shaped this unique and vibrant voice within the American mosaic. Featuring: Sandra Cisneros, Raul Salinas, Pat Mora, Tammy Gomez, Carmen Tafolla, Jesse Cardona.

Bill Moyers, Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker
“I found “Voices From Texas” an eye-opening, mind-opening, and heart-opening experience. [Ray Santisteban] introduced me to poets, lives, ideas and language that were new, fresh and invigorating to me."

The Austin Chronicle
"Part documentary, part poetry reading, part visual tribute to the power of words....A feast for the eyes, ears and spirit."

Best Documentary Award2003 CineFestival - San Antonio 

Broadcast on Regional Public Television

Independent filmmaker Ray Santisteban has worked for the past twenty-six years as a documentary filmmaker. His work consistently explores activist and artist profiles, addressing the themes of justice, memory and political transformation. A graduate of NYU's film and TV production program, he has explored a variety of subjects, including New York Black Panther leader Dhoruba Bin Wahad - PASSIN' IT ON (Co-producer), the roots of Puerto Rican poetry in NUYORICAN POETS CAFE (1994, Director, Producer, Editor), Chicano poetry in VOICES FROM TEXAS (2003, Director, Producer) and VISIONES: LATINO ART AND CULTURE IN THE U.S. (Senior Producer), a three hour PBS series nationally broadcast in 2004. He recently directed and produced THE FIRST RAINBOW COALITION.

Ray's body of work has put him in contact with some of the most well known and well respected activists of the 1960s. He provides audiences with a range of knowledge on grassroots movements of the 1960s and a window into how those movements work today.
Awards garnered include: 1992 Student Academy Award, a 1993 New York Foundation for the Arts Media Fellowship, a 1996 "Ideas in Action" Award from the National Tele-Media Alliance, a 1996 "Faculty of the Year" Award from the Chicano Studies Program at UW Madison, a 2005 Rockefeller Film and Video Fellowship, a 2008 and 2016 San Antonio Artists Foundation Filmmaker Award, and a 2016 Tobin Award for Artistic Excellence.