NPS Monthly Lecture Series – October 2016

johanna-burmudez-ruizCHRISTIANSTED – On Thursday, October 13, 2016, 5:30 – 6:30pm Johanna Bermudez-Ruiz, award-winning writer, producer, and director of internationally acclaimed documentaries and films, will show her trailer for “Sugar Pathways” and discuss the historical significance of the 50-minute film.

You can watch the trailer and rent her film here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/sugarpathways/144982830

“Sugar Pathways” is a powerful and vibrant film that recounts the story of the unwilling migration, by Puerto Rican families, from the small Caribbean island of Vieques to the US Virgin Islands. The severe economic conditions fueled by the “Great Depression” compelled hundreds to migrate. Twenty years later, a second migration of women, men, and children occurred. This was due to the U.S. Navy’s brutal expropriation, damage and destruction they inflicted on civilian lands, homes, and properties. This riveting film tells the story of Puerto Rican families’ survival of their journeys, their integration, and their contributions to the culture, economy, and politics of the US Virgin Islands. The film is narrated by actress Lauren Vélez of the Emmy Award-winning Showtime series “Dexter.”

Johanna Bermúdez-Ruiz, a native of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in filmmaking from Antioch College, Ohio. Her award-winning documentaries include “Vieques: An Island Forging Futures,” “Sugar Pathways,” “Spirit of Expression,” “Better To Be Human,” and “Forgotten in Paradise.”

Some of her recognitions include nomination for Best Female Film Director of Color at the African Diaspora Film Festival, Best Short Documentary (“the Pitirre Award) at the San Juan Cinema Festival, Best Short Documentary at the Maffa Film Festival, and Special Jury Mention Award at the Imagination Film Festival.

Early on, Johanna gained first-hand experience in film writing, production, and editing in New York working closely with renowned acting coach, producer, and writer Susan Batson and her son Carl Ford of Susan Batson Studio, LLC. This mother and son duo has worked with diverse talent such as Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Kerry Washington, and Rihanna. Johanna has since worked directly with Lauren Velez (“I Like That”), David Mayas (“Dexter”), and Guillermo Diaz (“Scandal”).

Residing on St. Croix, where her film company, Cane Bay Films, LLC is based, Johanna is one of the founding members of the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and a member of the International Documentary Association.

The lecture will be held from 5:30 – 6:30 pm in the Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse, Company Street, Christiansted.  The Fort parking lot will be open till 7 pm.

A meeting of The Friends of the St. Croix USVI National Parks will meet at 5 pm just before the lecture in the same location.  Memberships now available! Brochures will be available at this event.