Life on the Line screening at San Jose Public Library, February 23, 2018

screening audienceLife on the Line recently screened at the San Jose Public Library’s beautiful downtown King Library, a facility shared with San José State University. The Friday afternoon screening was introduced by Jill Bourne, the director of the San José Public Library System, and was attended by approximately 80 community members (youth and adults). A lively discussion about immigration followed with Co-Director Jen Gilomen, who was in attendance. Volunteers from the Santa Clara County Rapid Response Network, which assists community members impacted by ICE raids in and around San José, were also there to answer audience questions about recent ICE enforcement activity in the region and how voluntee rs could help immigrants to understand their rights.

DVD copies of Life on the LineThe library had several copies of Life on the Line available for check-out, which are now part of their collection, and at the end of the screening, a staff member of California State Assembly Member Ash Kalra’s office stood to thank the filmmakers for their exemplary work and presented them with a Certificate of Recognition. Life on the Line Co-Director Jen Gilomen pictured with certificate and staff member from California Assemblymember Ash KalraAssemblymember Kalra (D-San José) is the first Indian-American to serve in the California State Legislature.

The screening and resulting community conversation was a great model for public libraries to engage both youth and adults on complex topics surrounding immigration. To obtain a copy of Life on the Line for your library or institution, click here to purchase from New Day Films.

New story collection shows what life is like for young girls on the border

latinitasIn April, Fine Line Films traveled to El Paso, Texas to work with Las Latinitas, an organization that empowers young Latinas through media and technology. The girls stories reveal, in a personal way, the challenges that young people face growing up on the U.S./Mexico border.  These girls are inspiring, brave, and creative, and it was gratifying to hear them respond to Life on the Line — one girl said, “this movie is like my life.”  See the girls’ stories in our LifeLines story collection, and a gallery of behind the scenes images of our budding photojournalists from the workshop.


“Life on the Line” on PBS starting in September

Life on the Line has hundreds of scheduled airings on PBS beginning in September. To find out when Life on the Line is playing in your community, visit the program page at and check your local listings. Here are some highlights from major markets:
  • New York, WNET- Thursday, 9/25 at 10:30pm
  • Los Angeles, PBS SoCal- Sunday, 9/21 at 1am; PBS SoCal Plus- Sunday, 9/14 at 11:30pm; Monday, 9/15 at 5pm; PBS SoCal World- Sunday, 9/28 at 8:30pm; Thursday, 10/2 at 6:30pm and 11:30pm
  • Chicago, WTTW- Sunday, 9/21 at 11:30am and Tuesday, 9/23 at 10:30pm
  • Philadelphia, WHHY World- Sunday, 9/28 at 11:30pm; Monday, Thursday, 10/2 at 9:30pm
  • San Francisco, KQED- Sunday, 9/21 at 5pm; Tuesday, 9/30 at 11:30pm
  • Boston, WGBH (Ch.2)- Monday, 10/20 at 11pm; WGBH (Ch.44)- Monday 9/15 at 10:30pm
  • Washington, DC– WETA- Sunday, 9/21 at 6:30pm
  • Atlanta, WPBA- Thursday, 9/25 at 10:30pm
  • Houston, Houston PBS- Thursday, 9/18 at 11pm
  • Seattle, KCTS- Tuesday, 9/23 at 11:30pm
  • Phoenix, KAET- Tuesday, 9/23 at 9:30pm
  • Miami, WPBT- Thursday, 9/25 at midnight
  • Denver, KBDI- Wednesday, 9/10 at 9:30pm
  • San Diego, KPBS- Tuesday, 10/7 at 11pm
  • Nashville, WNPT- Sunday 9/14 at 10:30pm
  • Sacramento, KVIE- Monday, 9/22 at 11:30pm; Thursday, 9/25 at 3:30pm
  • Indianapolis, WFYI- Sunday, 9/21 at 3pm
  • Cincinnati, WPTO- Wednesday, 9/10 at 1:30pm
  • Tucson, KUAT- Tuesday, 9/20 at 11:30pm; Wednesday, 10/8 at 11:30pm
In addition to broadcast, the film will be streaming on for two weeks after the September 8th premiere.

Finally, we are proud to announce our official presenting station,Eight, Arizona PBS, based in Phoenix, up the road from the border where Life on the Line takes place. Eight specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture, and has reached the homes of more than 80 percent of Arizonians for the past fifty years, with more than 1 million viewers each week.

News about “Life on the Line” broadcast and screenings

Dear Supporters, Partners, and Friends of Life on the Line,
We are pleased to be emailing with a Spring update, following a busy few months since the film’s completion and World Premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Fest in January. We have some exciting news to share.
PBS Broadcast
SignatureImage_LifeontheLine_HorizontalFirst and foremost: broadcast! PBS Plus will be delivering Life on the Line to national PBS for broadcast in September as part of Latino Heritage Month, with a premiere date of September 8th, to be followed by several more broadcasts over the next two years. Stay tuned as our PBS broadcast time/station in your city as the television premiere date nears. We are also thrilled to be working with KAET Phoenix as our presenting station, and honored to have such a solid regional partnership in place as we bring Kimberly’s story to a national audience.
Interactive Project: Life Lines
We are pleased to announce the release of the first few stories of “Life Lines,” an interactive youth portrait series that takes place across the four border states: California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Last weekend we partnered with Las Latinitas in El Paso to do a youth workshop at the intersection of Mexico and New Mexico / Texas. These stories will be added to the collections soon. Check out the first youth stories >
Festivals & Regional Premieres
  • After our Southern California premiere in February, we screened the film in April at the Arizona International Film Festival as our Southwest premiere. The film was extremely well-received by our Tucson supporters and friends.
  • Life on the Line was honored to be the winner of Best Environmental Film at the Mexico International Film Festival.
  • San Francisco friends, keep an eye out for an upcoming announcement about a San Francisco premiere as part of the SF Doc Fest at the Roxie Theater in June. Los Angeles folks, stay tuned!
Community Screenings & Special Events
The past few months have been busy with community screenings and events in partnership with several organizations, including screenings at Chapman University with the Law School and a discussion of immigration law and reform; a faith-based screening at the University of Southern California with the Office of Religious Life; a Boston screening with Breakthrough Greater Boston and their students, who shared their own immigration stories; and a screening set up by Congressman Raul Grijalva’s office in Tucson, to 350 students at Desert View High School. Everywhere we’ve been, young people in particular are really responding to the film. Our best review so far came from an eight-year-old girl who said “this movie is like my life,” before she shared her own story with us.
Recent news about immigration reform
Just as Life on the Line comes out into the world, many important figures are talking about immigration reform like never before. On Friday, The Huffington Post reported that Vice President Joe Biden recently said, “We have to act to bring 11 million people out of the shadows and put them on a path to citizenship. These people are already Americans.” See also excellent ongoing coverage from The New York Times andColorLines, an online publication from RaceForward that we utilized frequently in our research for the film.
Jen (L), Sally (R)Thank you so much for your interest in and support of our work. If you have ideas about organizations, schools, or other venues that you think could use Life on the Line, we’re all ears. You can also forward this email to a friend if you think they’d be interested.
— Jen and Sally

Faith-based conversations about immigration at Chapman University and the University of Southern California

We recently held two faith-based conversations about immigration, one at Chapman University and the other at the University of Southern California, in conjunction with the Office of Religious Life. Students from the campus’ Catholic Center at USC spoke about the film and its resonance as a catalyst for dialogue around the morals and ethics behind the topic of immigration. Students and professors at Chapman University had a lively discussion about the actual state of immigration legislation here in California, and what the future may hold for those living “lives on the line” in this state.

Students at the Office of Religious Life at USC discuss faith and immigration.

Students at the Office of Religious Life at USC discuss faith and immigration.

“Life on the Line” at Breakthrough Greater Boston (MA)

Breakthrough Cambridge

Students at Breakthrough  write letters to Kimberly.

On Monday, March 25th, 2014, we screened “Life on the Line” with the students of Breakthrough, an organization based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, whose mission is to transform urban education for students and teachers. Students of Breakthrough come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and countries, and immigration is very much a part of their daily lives. The kids who watched “Life on the Line” come from Haiti, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Somalia, Palestine, Tibet, the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, and Puerto Rico.

As part of our afternoon with Breakthrough, students wrote “Letters to Kimberly,” sharing their own personal stories:

You are an inspiration! I am separated from my father too, but not for the same reasons. Your story made me realize that there’s a lot I take for granted, made me never want to give up. Do you ever want to give up?


I am Asian- American, mostly Vietnamese. I always try to embrace and enhance my culture even though there’s this American culture as well. I’m not so comfortable calling myself American since I’ve had a difficult time defining my own identity. All these years I’ve been bulied and teased because how I look and my different culture, just because I wasn’t a type of skin color. At first I was ashamed that I didn’t fit in, but I’ve learned to take pride in it.


You inspire me. Because of you, I will no longer take school for granted.


My culture, my nationality, is Haitian, but I’m known as a Haitian-American and I speak Creole and English at home and English at school. My mom and dad are from Haiti and I was born in America. I identify as American, because that is who I am.


Life on the Line at Desert View High School in Tucson

Life on the Line at a high school in Southern Arizona

Life on the Line at a high school in Southern Arizona

On Monday morning, April 14, 2014, Life on the Line was featured for a school assembly at Desert View High School in Southeast Tucson, a school with a large Latino population and a diverse student body.  The screening was arranged by Congressman Raul Grijalva‘s office; the Congressman serves the 3rd district of Arizona on the U.S. House of Representatives and is interested in the issues represented in Life on the Line.


Co-director Jen Gilomen kicks off a Q&A discussion at Desert View High School

The film screened to its toughest and most engaged audience yet — a crowd of 350 high school students. A discussion with co-director Jen Gilomen followed the film, and the students asked numerous insightful questions, such as “how did making this film change you, personally?” and “what do you hope Americans will learn from watching the film?” The students spontaneously erupted in applause during the post-screening discussion.

The discussion proved that the film is a useful tool for engaging students and starting a conversation with them about issues that are close to home — young people from immigrant and multi-ethnic backgrounds, immigration, and youth forced to manage many responsibilities and worries, both in and out of school, as a result of their family members’ immigration statuses.

Life on the Line at Arizona International Film Festival

2014_ArizonaFilmFestival_LaurelsOn Sunday, April 13, Life on the Line screened as part of the 23rd annual Arizona International Film Festival in Tucson, Arizona, at The Screening Room, a historic and lively venue in downtown Tucson.

Festival goers stayed long after the film for a Q&A with co-director Jen Gilomen. They wanted to talk about policies related to immigration and how they could help.