ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A documentary about Chicano writer Jimmy Santiago Baca is set to be released in June and producers hope to screen it in schools with Latino and Native American students.
Director Daniel Glick told The Associated Press that the film will be available on DVD and online after being shown at film festivals nationwide.
"It's exciting to get it out there and have an impact, especially in the schools," Glick, 32, said from Bozeman, Montana. "We will bring the film to classrooms with workbooks and other educational materials."
"A Place to Stand", based on Baca's 2002 memoir of the same name, follows his life from Estancia, New Mexico to his time in the Arizona State Prison in Florence, Arizona. It covers his rise from a nearly illiterate convicted criminal to one of the most recognized Mexican-American writers in the country.
The Santa Fe-born poet, known for such poetry collections as "Immigrants in Our Own Land," agreed in 2010 to give Glick full access and introduced him to friends and former prison guards.
The film took more than three years to make and was produced after a social media campaign to raise money from Latinos. In all, producers raised around $100,000 for the documentary.
Glick said he got the idea for the documentary after visiting a New York prison, wanting to know more about the experience behind bars. A prisoner suggested Glick read Baca's memoir, which details his transformation from an inmate at a maximum-security prison to an internationally acclaimed poet.
Recently, another online campaign raised more than $15,000 to bring the film to schools with students from low-income families.
During the education campaign, Baca has been posting photos on social media of him teaching poetry at various schools across the country.