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Baruch Students Host Film Screening and Discussion with A Better Life Director Chris Weitz

A Better LifeNEW YORK, NY-March 13, 2012 – Acclaimed Film Director Chris Weitz, known for his work in the Twlight series, and most recently for his film A Better Life, will be participating in an open discussion following a special screening of his latest film on March 23 at Baruch College. The screening will begin at 1 p.m., followed by a Q & A, in Engleman Recital Hall. Doors open at 12:15 p.m. To RSVP send an email to

In the film, A Better Life, Weitz explores the struggles of an East L.A. gardener, played by Demian Bichir, trying to give his son the opportunities he never had and in that journey Weitz touches on numerous issues facing our nation. Bichir received an Academy Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

“The movie is an amazing vehicle to stimulate conversation about the contemporary realities of many Latinos struggling every day to make a living and support their families under difficult conditions,” says Professor of Public Affairs Hector Cordero-Guzman, PhD.

The film screening and discussion is hosted by The Percy E. Sutton SEEK Program and other Latino student groups at Baruch College as an effort to bring awareness about the challenges faced by undocumented citizens. Students will be accepting donations to raise money for student scholarships.

In addition to the SEEK Society, the student groups are co-hosting this event include: UMLA (Urban Male Leadership Academy), LASO (Latin American Students Organization), PorColombia PRIDE (Puerto Ricans For Involvement, Development & Enlightenment), LPiU ( Lambda Pi Upsilon, Latinas Poderosas Unidas), Party With Baruch LYHEP (Latino Youth for Higher Education Program),  LUL  (La Unidad Latina --Lambda Upsilon Lambda), ASEDOM (Associacion Estudiantes Dominicanos), and MexiCulture.

“We truly believe that every person should have a right to education,” said Mayte Ortiz, a junior public affairs major, and President of the SEEK Society. “It is not fair to those people that have lived in the U.S. for their entire lives and cannot attend college simply because they are missing 9 magic numbers. Through the SEEK Program we have been given a chance to continue our education; our vision is for every student to have that same chance.”

Baruch’s special event follows a similar effort presented by the U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, who also hosted a screening/discussion event on February 16 in Washington, D.C. The event featured worker advocate Dolores Huerta, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage & Hour Division investigators and served as the kick off to the Department’s Centennial Celebration, a year of commemorative, cultural, and academic activities to showcase the Department’s achievements and mission leading up to the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Department of Labor, March 13, 2013.

“This event is a great way for Latinos and the entire community to come together and to discuss an issue that continues to haunt many Latinos,” says Angela Anselmo, PhD, Director of the SEEK Program at Baruch College. “It’s wonderful to see our students take the initiative to bring awareness to such an important subject matter.”

Ortiz and the leaders of other sponsoring student organizations hope guests will feel compelled to learn more about the challenges undocumented citizens face and to support their right to earn an education.

“I hope that the audience will be touched by the event in a way that will transform their hearts and minds so they may take action,” Ortiz added. “It would be tremendously empowering to see a large group of people working in solidarity to help undocumented residents gain the rights they deserve.”

Writer/Director Chris Weitz helmed the drama A Better Life for Summit Entertainment starring Demian Bichir. Weitz most recently directed New Moon, based on the second novel in the best-selling Twilight series, which has grossed more than $700 million worldwide. Weitz previously adapted and directed, the Oscar-winning epic fantasy adventure The Golden Compass starring Nicole Kidman, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, and Daniel Craig. Based on Philip Pullman’s best-selling and award-winning first novel in the His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass was released by New Line Cinema and has grossed over $350 million worldwide. 



Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141,

Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112,



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