Rosario Dawson is laying down roots on an important new project…
The 42-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American actress and activist has joined the upcoming SXSW documentary Split At The Root as an executive producer alongside Lana Parrilla.
The Linda Goldstein Knowlton-directed film is scheduled to play in the Austin festival’s Documentary Spotlight section.
Split at the Root follows the emotional journey of mothers separated from their children at the U.S. border and the grassroots initiative that, against all odds, reunites those families. When a Guatemalan mother seeking asylum was separated from her kids under the Zero Tolerance Policy, a Facebook post by a mom in Queens coalesced into a movement as thousands of like-minded women across the U.S. refused to stand by quietly. Immigrant Families Together was born – a rapid response group committed to doing what the government couldn’t – or wouldn’t do: reunite parents with their children separated by the Zero Tolerance Policy.
Producers for Split at the Root include Emmy-nominated writer/producer Marti Noxon of Tiny Pyro Productions, Noxon’s President of Production Maria Grasso, Miranda Bailey of Cold Iron Pictures.
Dawson has produced fiction and nonfiction projects ranging from This Is Not A War Story, nominated for The John Cassavetes Spirit Award, the award-winning documentary The Need To Grow which she also has narrated, and produced two projects for Free Speech Television, The Assembly as well as Telethon for America 2020, both of which she co-hosted.
Behind the cameras, Dawson is highly active in political, social and environmental causes and has been involved with many social justice organizations including Amnesty International, Voto Latino, Save The Children, Doctors Without Borders and RESPECT!
“When it comes to immigration policy in this country, it is more than just a political crisis—we’re suffering a crisis of our very humanity. And one way to change the debate in Washington is by changing the language we use and the stories we produce such as Split the Root, opening the lens wider so people get the full picture. By having those who have come to the US to seek asylum front-and-center in this film and showing how every person can make a true difference to create change is why I wanted to join the producing team of this film” said Dawson.
Noxon added, “From the moment I heard the story of mothers on this side of the border helping mothers and children on the other side, I was compelled to know more. I couldn’t imagine any parent who knows the wrenching pain of being separated from their children who wouldn’t relate. And I had total confidence that Linda Goldstein Knowlton and the whole team would capture the beauty, despair, and hope of these women’s journey. I’m proud to be part of it and am so pleased to have Rosario join the team in amplifying these women’s voices and helping to shine a light on the compassionate Americans who supported them along the way.”
“My intention with this film was to tell an intimate, personal story of families separated by the Zero Tolerance policy, told by powerful women from both sides of the border. I couldn’t be more grateful to Marti and Rosario for helping to make this film a reality and bring the spotlight back onto the ongoing experiences of these families” said Goldstein Knowlton.
Parrilla’s television credits include Once Upon a Time, Spin City, Swingtown, Boomtown, Windfall and 24. For her turn as The Evil Queen/Regina Mills in Once Upon a Time, she won a Teen Choice Award for Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress, an ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series and a nomination for Best Supporting Actress on Television from the 38th Saturn Awards.