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Film probes life without papers

Movie explores what happens when child immigrants turn 18
by: COURTESY OF Aeryca Steinbauer, 
Students are filmed for a classroom preview, or trailer, of

A documentary film made in Portland, 'Papers,' about immigrant youth as they turn 18 without legal status, will debut in the Rose City.

The first showing of 'Papers' on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Hollywood Theatre already has sold out. The other showings are: 7 p.m., Oct. 5, Hollywood Theatre; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8, CIO (700 N. Killingsworth); 1 p.m. Oct. 15, at the Latin American Film Festival in the Broadway Metroplex downtown. After those shows, 'Papers' goes national to places such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Houston, Austin, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

Information can be found at www.papersthemovie.com.

The movie was made by Portland's Graham Street Productions, in partnership with Film Action Oregon and in conjunction with El Grupo Juvenil (the 'Papers' Youth Crew). Many Portland Public Schools teachers and officials are in the film, as well as multiple members of Congress. It focuses on undocumented youth as they advance into adulthood. About 65,000 such students graduate each year in the country, and current legislation in Congress, called the DREAM Act, could offer youth a path to citizenship.

Undocumented people don't have full rights, meaning they cannot legally work or drive, get an ID card or get on an airplane, and have difficulty getting into college.

In making the film, the youth take the chance of being portrayed - and then being deported. Of the five main characters, two are Mexican, one is Guatemalan, one is Korean and one is Jamaican.

Film organizers said national advocates, faith-based organizations, student associations, unions and social justice organizations in 22 states have requested to screen the film.