San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
You are invited to attend a special screening of the film, Underwater Dreams, in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month and the Fort Worth Human Relation's Commission's committment to outreach and education in the area of human and civil rights. The free screening is made possible through a collaboration with Fort Worth Movies That Matter, 50 Eggs, Inc., AMC Theatres and NBC Universal, and in cooperation with the Fort Worth Independent School District and the Fort Worth ISD Council of PTAs.
Underwater Dreams, narrated by Michael Peña, is the true story of how the sons of
undocumented Mexican immigrants learned how to build underwater robots. And go up against
MIT in the process.
This is how it transpired. Two energetic high school science teachers, on a whim, decided to
enter their high school, a Title I school where most of the students live in poverty, into a
sophisticated underwater robotics competition sponsored by the NASA and the Office of Naval
Research, among others. Only four boys signed up for the competition, but once assembled, with
enthusiasm and verve, they started calling oceanic engineers and military contractors for design
help. They were advised that their underwater robot would require glass syntactic flotation foam.
Short on money, all they could afford was PVC pipe from Home Depot. And some duct tape.
After a few test runs of their robot (aptly named Stinky), the team was confident that they would
not come in last at the event, so they all piled into a beat up van to head to the competition. The
boys entered the main pool area, seeing college teams in matching gear, with robots sponsored
by the likes of Exxon Mobil. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, the boys put Stinky in the water for a
test run. Only the PVC did not hold up. The robot leaked. And sunk.
The boys put their heads together and hilariously came up with a brilliant solution. 12 hours
later, armed with 8 super-plus tampons to plug the leak in Stinky’s mechanical housing, the robot
was lowered into the pool again. Only this time, Stinky performed admirably.
Fast forward to a shocking result. This rag-tag high school team of undocumented Mexican boys
did what no one thought possible. The competition, however, was only the beginning. These
boys forged a legacy that could not have been imagined.
Narrated by Michael Peña. Written and Directed by Mary Mazzio. Executive Producers: Michael
Peña, Laurie Tisch, Jackie Bezos, Mike Bezos, Hope Pascucci, Mike Pascucci, Jeb Bush, Jr.,
Christine Vachon, and Sarah Lenti. Funded by the Bezos Family Foundation and the Laurie M.
Tisch Illumination Fund, with additional support from the Virginia Piper Charitable Trust and
When & Where
Fort Worth Human Relations Commission
The Fort Worth Human Relations Unit provides information and services related to basic human rights, including enforcement of the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance and federal housing, employment and accommodation laws. The HRU also strives to create a welcoming community for all people by providing resources and outreach efforts that promote basic human rights. The HRU provides staff support to the City Council-appointed Human
Relations Commission (HRC), which was created in 1967 to champion anti-discrimination efforts in Fort Worth and facilitate harmonious relationships among Fort Worth’s diverse communities.
Latino Americans: 500 Years of History is a public programming initiative designed for organizations that seek to facilitate informed discussions and foster understanding of local histories in regional, national and international contexts.
The Fort Worth Human Relations Commission was one of 203 grant recipients selected from across the country to receive a competitive grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association to hold public programming — such as public film screenings, discussion groups, oral history initiatives, local history exhibitions, multi-media projects or performances — about Latino history and culture.
Planned programs will include free screening events of each of the six parts of the Latino Americans documentary; ¡Viva Mi Historia!, a series of oral history collection days that will be used to help create a Latino American Archives at the Fort Worth Library; and an interactive, multi-media exhibit, Muejeres Poderosas: The Legacy of Strong Latinas in Fort Worth.
Program event partners include the Fort Worth Library, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Artes de la Rosa and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Support for the program has also been pledged from the following community organizations: KERA, FWISD, Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas Fort Worth Chapter and MANA de North Texas.