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Human rights documentary "The Sugar Babies" premieres at Loyola

Loyola press release - March 19, 2007

The Women's Resource Center, together with University Ministry, is proud to present the world premiere of Amy Serrano's human-rights documentary The Sugar Babies on March 28, 2007, at 7 p.m., in Louis J. Roussel performance Hall.

The Sugar Babies examines the moral price of sugar—present and past— from the perspective of the conditions surrounding the children of sugar cane cutters of Haitian ancestry in the Dominican Republic, and the continuing denial of their basic human rights. The 95-minute documentary film The Sugar Babies: The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic vividly explores the lives of the descendants of the first slaves taken to the island of Hispaniola for the bittersweet commodity that once ruled the world. These very same people continue to be trafficked to work in sugar under circumstances that can only be considered modern day slavery.

Composed of gripping field testimonies and hidden camera footage obtained during 18 months of documentation, the film also features interviews with Haiti's Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Raymond Joseph, the U.S. Department of States' Ambassador John Miller from the Office of Human Trafficking, renowned anthropologist and sugar historian Sidney Mintz, Carol Pier from Human Rights Watch, Public Interest Attorneys Bill Quigley as well as Greg Schell, and a number of activists from the field including Sonia Pierre of M.U.D.H.A. [Dominico-Haitian Women], human rights lawyer Noemi Mendez, Colette Lespinase of G.A.R.R. Haiti [Organization for Refugees and the Repatriated] and missionaries Pierre Ruquoy and Father Christopher Hartley.

The film is narrated by award-winning Haitian author Edwidge Danticat and contains original music by the film's composer Bill Cruz including the songs "Branded" and "The Devil's Work." The documentary also features the music of Bola de Nieve, Alberto Beltran, Kenny Rankin, Solomon Burke and the Blind Boys of Alabama, and original field recordings by The Sugar Babies.

The Sugar Babies was produced through Siren Studios in association with The Hope, Courage and Justice Project and The Human RIghts Foundation. The film's production team includes Editor and Art Director Jason A. Ocasio, Production Associate Salvador Longoria, Associate Producer Thor Halvorssen, Co-Producer Constance Haqq, and Executivc Producer Claudia Chiesi.

The film was written, shot, produced, and directed by filmmaker Amy Serrano and will be launched on March 28, at 7 p.m., at Loyola. It is additionally targeted for release via film festivals, television, universities, and as an awareness creating resource for human rights organizations.

The Sugar Babies was made possible by The Crowley Children's Fund, Tico Pujals, Cindy Nord, and the generousity of many others. For additional information, please contact TheSugarBabies@aol.com