Amy Serrano’s life is about the courage to tell the truth even at those times when it has put her in great personal peril. Her story begins with the oppression in her native land that separated her from family and home. Today in films and now a book, she tells the stories of people having to deal with the darkness of injustice or tragedy in hopes of bringing light, elevating, and awakening others to either change things or rise to their personal best.
Amy is a published poet, writer, and award-winning filmmaker. Most recently, she shot, produced, wrote and directed the feature-length and critically acclaimed, “The Sugar Babies.” The film explores the lives of the descendants of the first Africans delivered to the island of Hispaniola for the bittersweet commodity that once ruled the world.
Amongst other honors, in May of 2008, MEGA TV named her one of the “most influential and recognized Hispanics in the United States.” She has received honors by the City of Miami with a proclamation making October 27 “Amy Serrano Day” and has been named “Woman of the Year” in the Millennium Spanish Edition of Glamour Magazine.
Amy says that, “The early loss of family and homeland forged my original separation wound but it also made me highly resilient. So I feel as though I’ve been hardwired to seek oneness and live within the oneness whenever and wherever I could find it.” Her goal is to make it sustainable, she says.
She goes on, “Filmmaking became the perfect vehicle of oneness for giving voice and vision to the issues where oneness was not present. The films that I have surrendered to making illuminate some of the darkness that is out there in the world and helps others live lives of freedom and choice. That’s what led me to make “The Sugar Babies” which is about modern day slavery and the trafficking of Haitian families to work on the sugar plantations in the Dominican Republic.”
As a consequence, Amy is carefully developing a women’s organic farming project to help mothers sustainably feed their children. This grew out of her efforts to satisfy the immediate need for food and supplies to Haitians after the recent devastating earthquake, but the seeds of it were actually planted during the 18months Amy spent visiting the island to document conditions for “Sugar Babies.” Realizing that beyond immediate relief efforts, the long-term need was for sustainability, she is developing a plan to acquire some land and technical assistance to launch this project on Hispaniola. The idea is based on the ability that mothers will be able to grow enough food to feed their families, and being able to sell-off or barter the excess in order to acquire other necessary goods and resources for the family unit.
Creatively, Amy is also writing a non-fiction book entitled “This is Who We Are: Lessons from New Orleans on Resilience, Reinvention and Sustainability.” The book features interviews and portraits of individuals and organization who lost it all yet survived tragedy and devastation to find ways to begin again and thrive in a post-Katrina and post-oil spill New Orleans. She says, “It’s about the good things that I see happening and the inspiring lessons that New Orleans has to offer from those who’ve suffered great personal loss and public tragedy and will rise, but even higher this time. It’s the universal story of the Phoenix rising from the ashes.”
To find out more about Amy’s film go to SugarBabiesFilm.com and for more information about the book on New Orleans or to help with the women’s organic farming project, email Amy directly.