Roberto Gudino, (’04) a long-time filmmaker, is sharing his production of “Below the Fold,” a film about Southern California’s Latino communities, to help commemorate Mexican Heritage Month this September.
Gudino is a native of Cochise County and was born and raised in Douglas, Arizona. The now successful filmmaker is a first-generation college student. He says at the beginning of his young-adult life he was someone without much ambition to pursue higher education and had found little success throughout his high school career.
But then something changed when he found his passion for film in his hometown, at the local community college and landed a job working as a student-aid photographer for the Cochise College Creative Services Office. Since then, he says his passion for film has only grown.
Gudino’s fascination with the film industry eventually led to academic success. He earned a bachelor of fine arts in film and television from the University of Arizona in 2007 and a master of fine arts in film production from the University of California, Los Angeles, one of the top film schools in the country, in 2012. He also earned a master of science from Florida International University in 2015.
Currently, Gudino is a faculty member at the Scottsdale School of Film and Theatre at Scottsdale Community College. He’s also an avid filmmaker and a winner of the prestigious Jury Prize from The Directors Guild of America.
Recently, Gudino’s work has aimed to tell the untold stories of Mexican culture that are generally “not featured in the media,” says Gudino.
“Below the Fold” chronicles the efforts of a team of reporters from the Los Angeles Times who banded together in 1983 to counter distorted reportage about Hispanics and addresses the distorted, narrow reportage that characterized the media’s previous coverage of Latinos.
“The film is about Latinos, written by Latinos but not just for Latinos but for everyone, because there were a lot of people who didn’t know who this population was… I think today that’s still true in our culture,” said Gudino. “It’s important because it shows that minorities can be not only represented in media, but they can be the creators of that media. They can have a voice in telling their own stories.”
Critics consider the series a milestone in enhancing inclusion in news coverage.
Gudino says his experience growing up in a border community and his Mexican heritage has led him to share these stories in order to give back to the community and to help enrich the lives of students. He hopes that “Below the Fold” will be one of many productions that will help bring awareness to Mexican culture.
“These ’stories’ are represented not just in ’Below the Fold’ but are being retold generation after generation, in lives of students, mothers, fathers and teenagers,” says Gudino. “And it’s important that these stories are told.”
Gudino identifies his time as a Cochise College student as pivotal to his success.
“I am a product of mentorship,” said Gudino. “…and really don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t gone there. So I’m lucky, because now I get to share my story and stories like mine, and that’s a pretty big thing.”