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Skidmore College

Filmmaking professor debuts at TriBeCa

April 20, 2016

English professor Cecilia Aldarondo has had her documentary film Memories of a Penitent Heart accepted in the renowned TriBeCa Film Festival.

Cecilia Aldarondo

Decades after her uncle Miguel's death, Cecilia Aldarondo began the search for answers to a family secret. Now at TriBeCa Film Festival, her Memories of a Penitent Heart tracks her progress as filmmaker, family historian, and detective, eventually exploring the lasting impact of the AIDS epidemic, as seen through the lens of her own family.

A member of Skidmore’s English faculty, Aldarondo teaches film studies and other courses. In her director’s statement for the documentary, she says, "I became a filmmaker on the day that my mother gave me a box of 8mm films she discovered in her garage. Visceral memories of my uncle Miguel's funeral came back to me, and suddenly I found myself asking uncomfortable questions.” She wondered, had “this chapter in my family history been forgotten, and what could I do about it now?" In her investigation, she tracks down her uncle’s estranged lover and opens a Pandora’s box of family issues.

The film is being screened at TriBeCa through this weekend (a Skidmore busload, including students and faculty from the Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative, is heading there on Saturday), plus it was acquired for broadcast by the PBS documentary series POV

View the Penitent Heart trailer below or visit the website. 

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