Documentary Short by Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz

Screening on four platforms this week

Premiering on AJ English’s WITNESS October 25

Logline: With Immigration Law under attack, five Mexican-American Immigration lawyers form a support group as they strive to help their clients obtain safety and status in the United States. 

STATUS PENDING (2020, 26 minutes) is screening in four virtual film festivals and will have international distribution through Aljazeera’s WITNESS Documentary series. 

Starting today, the film will screen at Double Exposure Film Festival (DX) as part of the Short Cuts block from Oct. 14 – 18. Priscilla spoke on DX’s virtual panel “Latinx Connect at Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium;” the complete recording is available online. She will also be on the DX panel “Workshop: From IF/Then to the World: A Case Study on Multi-Platform Distribution For Short Docs” on October 16. 

STATUS PENDING was selected for Meet the Press Film Festival at AFI Fest, launching at noon (12pm Pacific Daylight Time) on Friday, October 16. A partnership with NBC’s Meet the Press, this showcase of short documentaries features a wide range of compelling stories and highlights some of the most pressing issues facing our society. 

STATUS PENDING is currently screening on Ruku from Oct. 9 -15 as part of Marina del Rey Film Festival. The film will also screen as part of OC Film Fiesta from October 15-25.

On October 25, the film will premiere on Aljazeera English’s WITNESS strand and be available online to viewers around the world. The film will also be broadcast internationally on English news channels such as CNN, BBC World, NHK World and more. The film is still seeking domestic distribution in the United States.  

STATUS PENDING was made with the support of Tribeca Film Institute, IF/Then Shorts, and NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers). After winning the IF/Then Shorts Pitch for the American West at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz received a $25,000 grant and mentorship to make the film that was inspired by her sister, one of the lawyers featured in the film.

The film has had a healthy virtual film festival run after premiering to a sold-out theater at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in February. The film was awarded an Audience Pick Award at Palm Springs International Shortfest and Honorable Mention at Prague Indie International Film Festival. The five lawyers featured in the film have participated on panels and promotion as well.  

Priscilla González Sainz is an award-winning writer and filmmaker who specializes in non-fiction media. Her parents immigrated from Mexico and she grew up in Southern California. Priscilla’s work depicts migrant and first-generation stories, exploring themes of displacement, identity, and transnationalism. She hopes to tell stories that call social, cultural and perceived barriers into question. Priscilla earned her MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. Her thesis film ROOM 140 was a Student Academy Award Semifinalist, was one of five films nominated for the IDA Wolper Student Documentary Achievement Award, and received multi-platform distribution through The Atlantic Selects, KQED’s Truly California and Vimeo Staff Pick.  

As we head into upcoming elections, this film is timely and important as a reminder of how the outcome can affect some of the most vulnerable communities. 

For more information about the film, please check out: