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The Avon
The Best of Independent Cinema

DIRECTED BY: Chelsea Hernandez



Co-presented by Building One Community

Please join us for a post-film Q&A with producer Mario Troncoso, attorney Andrew D. Schau, and attorney Doug Penn.


Across Texas an unstoppable construction boom drives urban sprawl and luxury high-rises. Its dirty secret: abuse of immigrant labor. BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM captures a turning point as a movement forms to fight widespread construction industry injustices. The film follows three immigrant families who are rising up to seek justice. Grieving their son, a Mexican family campaigns for a life-and-death safety ordinance. A Salvadorian electrician couple owed thousands in back pay fights for their children's future. A bereaved son battles to protect others from his family's preventable tragedy. A story of courage, resilience and community, the film reveals shocking truths about the hardworking immigrants who build the American Dream, from which they are excluded.


Mario Troncoso is a 9-time Emmy award-winning filmmaker, producer and director of the documentary series ARTS IN CONTEXT which airs on PBS, as well as the Executive Director of The Documentary Society (Doculab). With extensive agency and production company experience, Mario has worked for fifteen years on productions across many formats, ranging from advertising to documentaries and fiction.

Andrew D. Schau is a volunteer attorney who currently heads Building One Community’s wage recovery clinic on behalf of unpaid workers. He previously practiced litigation law in New York at Covington & Burling LLP and at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, where he represented life sciences and other Fortune 500 companies. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois in 1980, and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1983.

Douglas R. Penn has practiced immigration law since 1997. Mr. Penn has spoken at immigration law conferences at the state and national levels and has guest-lectured on business immigration at Quinnipiac University School of Law and at University of Connecticut School of Law. He has been named in Best Lawyers in America and has been rated by Martindale-Hubbell as Distinguished in the field of Immigration Law. Mr. Penn is a past Chair of the Connecticut Chapter of AILA.


Building One Community's mission is to advance the successful integration of immigrants and their families. B1C has helped more than 9,400 adult immigrant residents, originating from 100 countries, who speak 37 languages, in tangible ways including securing new or better jobs as a result of improved English language and job skills, accessing affordable health care services for themselves and their families, and strengthening their involvement and their voice in their children’s educational experiences in the Stamford Public Schools. The result of B1C’s work for those who participate in their programs is a sense of belonging in the community, a higher quality of life, and the opportunity to make real contributions to the social and economic vibrancy of the community.




RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes





Carte Blanche: FREE
Nonmembers - $13
Members - $8
Students/Seniors (Mon - Thu) - $10




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