A filmmaker watched a linguist’s barroom presentation and was inspired to understand how unpacking language perceptions may reveal deep, everyday truths. Partnering with a language enthusiast and filmmaker, this trio elevates linguistics to centerstage in a docuseries project yet to be produced.
Juan is a filmmaker who documents multicultural, social and political issues in underrepresented communities. His documentary shorts have been featured on NPR, PRI, and NBC. His first feature-length film Health Undocumented has screened at national and international film festivals and has been translated into many languages from Spanish to Malay. Freitez has been hosted by renowned universities, including Stanford, Berkeley, Georgetown, and UCSD to present his work and lead discussions about the communities and topics documented in his films.
By day, Emily is a TEDx speaker and professional linguist (Ph.D.) who uses neuroscience technology and behavioral survey data to research the social and cognitive factors that influence how Spanish-English bilinguals produce and process language. By night she’s a story-telling standup comedian from Pittsburgh who discovered standup by accidentally attending a female comics workshop.
Aliyah is a language enthusiast and filmmaker. She is currently a content and technical producer for University of Michigan’s Business & Finance organization and is an alum of U-M’s Film department. Her work has been recognized by institutions like Colorado State, the University of Minnesota, University Wisconsin, and the University of California, Berkeley. Her favorite projects are ones that are experimental or feature language as central to the story and explore intersections of identity and language. She has contributed to feature-length, short, and documentary film productions nationally.