THC Spotlights is shining a light on creative technologists who are helping to solve problems in their community and doing it with maximum impact.
Maya Cueva is a Latina award-winning director and producer with a background in documentary, radio, and audio producing. We’ll cut to the chase and just say that Maya is a heavy hitter in this documentary film world.
Currently a Netflix Nonfiction Director and Producer fellow, Maya’s work has been featured on The New Yorker, NPR's “All Things Considered,” “Latino USA,” The Atlantic, Teen Vogue, and National Geographic. She received a student Emmy for her short film THE PROVIDER and her most recent short documentary ALE LIBRE was acquired by The New Yorker and was selected to screen at several Oscar qualifying festivals, including Big Sky Documentary Festival, Hot Docs, Aspen Film Festival, and SFFILM.
Her latest documentary project, ON THE DIVIDE, follows the stories of three Latinx people living in McAllen, Texas who, despite their views, are connected by the most unexpected of places: the last abortion clinic on the U.S./Mexico border. As threats to the clinic and their personal safety mount, they are forced to make decisions they never could have imagined.
The film premiered in Spring 2021 at the Tribeca Festival and has been programmed at festivals across the world, winning best documentary at New Orleans Film Festival and Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
Creating a piece of art this deeply personal and hard hitting has not been an easy feat. The project was filmed over a period of seven years, as Maya and co-director Leah Galant worked with a woman-led creative team to transform the film from a student project to a full-length documentary feature. During the long production, Maya and Leah developed intimate relationships with a range of stakeholders in the reproductive justice debate. By building trusting relationships, they are able to fully document film protagonists Rey, Mercedes, and Denisse as they navigate limited access to reproductive healthcare in their region, and what choice means when you don’t have many options.
The film is scheduled to premiere on broadcast on POV via PBS on April 18th!
While we patiently wait for the premiere, we're taking a stroll down memory lane with this throwback IG Live! with Maya and our THC host Cameron Flowers: