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WTTW Press Room

For Immediate Release
August 20, 2008


New local documentary chronicles the Puerto Rican experience in Chicago

Airdate:  Tuesday, September 9th at 7:30 pm

Chicago, IL - WTTW11, Chicago's leading public television station, is proud to present the world premiere of the locally-produced documentary Chicago's Puerto Rican Story on Tuesday, September 9 at 7:30 pm  The program, several years in the making, paints an inspiring portrait of the Puerto Rican experience in Chicago, looking at the early years of migration, settlement, struggles and contributions of this vital community as it recollects the events and influences that shaped its political awareness and activism.  

Through the use of personal and archival photos and footage, and interviews with early migrants, community leaders and historians, Chicago's Puerto Rican Story touches on the themes of family, work, housing, education, and organizing successes: the creation of community organizations, health centers and clinics; the implementation of educational reforms; the hiring of Puerto Rican police officers; elected officials at every level of government; and the creation of a cultural and commercial business district known as "Paseo Boricua."  Interview subjects include U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle, Illinois State Senator Iris Martinez, Chicago Aldermen Billy Ocasio and Rey Colon, and many other prominent members of the community. The film is narrated by independent filmmaker and educator Gloricelly Franceschi, who also wrote the script.  

The film comes to WTTW11 from New Film Productions, and was produced, directed and written by Antonio and Gloricelly Franceschi.  "We are excited and honored that WTTW11 has given us the opportunity to share this compelling story with their viewers," said Antonio Franceschi.  "It's important that people understand how the Puerto Ricans' history has shaped who they are as a community today," he added.  Daniel Soles, WTTW's Senior Vice President and Chief Television Content Officer, agrees.  "We feel this program will shine a well-deserved spotlight on this rich and diverse group," he said.  "It is very much in line with WTTW's long-standing commitment to informing and enlightening our audience about all aspects of our city's cultural heritage," he added.  

WTTW11 and Chicago's Puerto Rican Story will have a presence at the 15th annual Fiesta Boricua on August 31, and for information on a special Humboldt Park preview screening, please contact Alejandro Molina or Raul Echevarria at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center at (773) 342-8023.  

Chicago's Puerto Rican Story was produced and directed by Antonio Franceschi, and written, produced and hosted by Gloricelly Franceschi. Photography is by Felix Mendez, with original music by Tino "Archie" Ojeda, Jr.  Art Design by Maritza Lopez.

About New Film Productions
An award-winning Latino-owned motion picture and television production company, New Film Productions was founded by Antonio Franceschi in the summer of 1989. New Film Productions' mission is to be a leader in the creation and promotion of quality educational and entertaining programs for the television, cable and theatrical markets.  

About WTTW11
For more than 50 years, audiences have turned to WTTW11 for distinctive programming that informs, inspires, educates and entertains. It reaches two million weekly viewers over a four-state area, making it the most-watched public television station in America.  Recognized for its award-winning local and national productions, WTTW11 is committed to presenting the very best in cultural, nature, science, public affairs and children's programming across its four distinct television channels:  WTTW11, WTTWD, its Spanish-language channel V-me, and WTTW Create.  For more information about WTTW programming across all its platforms, please visit our web site at

WTTW11 Contact
Julia Maish
(773) 509-5551

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