The Kaleidoscope contest also recognized 200 years of diplomacy between the U.S. and Mexico, a topic that was discussed after the screening in a panel between Peter Murrieta, producer and deputy director of The Sidney Poitier New American Film School at ASU; former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson; and Migration Policy Institute President Andrew Selee, who moderated the discussion.

Jacobson explained that one big issue that events like the Kaleidoscope contest seek to correct is people seeing relations between the U.S. and Mexico as only pertaining to border states like Texas, Arizona and California.

“The notion in some ways that this only matters to border states is such a false construct,” said Jacobson. “The boundaries of community begin being very firm, very perhaps isolating, but result in a sort of amoeba-like osmosis, where the cultures and the lines do begin to blur, enriching both.”

Murrieta, who has produced such projects as “Primo,” “Mr. Iglesias,” “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Greetings from Tucson,” spoke to the importance of films like the Kaleidoscope's three winners, which all told authentic, honest experiences of being Mexican in the United States. In Murrieta’s own work, he has done the same.

“It was just that simple — an artist choosing to write about themselves, and not thinking about a barrier and not thinking about anything other than a story,” he said. “I think the more we as artists just keep sort of doing that, we can let the other people come behind us and fill in the forms.”

Written by Hager Sharp