About The Film
Cesar’s Last Fast is a multi-platform feature documentary film about the private sacrifice and spiritual conviction behind Cesar Chavez’s struggle for the humane treatment of America’s farm workers, and the impact Chavez’s legacy has on today’s generation of organizers fighting for farm worker rights. The film is built around powerful, never-before-seen footage of Chavez’s 1988 “Fast for Life,” a 36-day act of penance for not having done enough to stop growers from spraying pesticides on farm workers. The story of this water-only fast is the film’s dramatic arc into which the filmmakers interweave the historic events that defined the life mission of America’s most inspiring Latino leader and the struggles confronting today’s farm workers.
This project is more than just a film. It is a powerful tool to engage people and organizations to participate in social justice movements using Cesar Chavez’s inspiring story as a model for how individuals and communities can address the inequities they confront every day. To carry out this social impact initiative, the filmmakers will partner with national civil, labor, human rights, and faith-based organizations. These partner groups will organize community-based screenings and incorporate the film into their social justice campaigns. This strategy will ensure the film reaches a new generation of immigrant workers who may not know Chavez’s story and his impact on Latino civil and labor rights in the United States.
The film will exploit all media platforms in an aggressive campaign that will ensure the project reaches the widest possible audience. The partner organizations will participate in the project’s new media distribution strategy by disseminating platform-appropriate scenes to their email lists and posting them on their websites and on their social networking pages.
The producers have already begun their new media campaign by posting and distributing video clips on the film’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Viewers can see sample viral and mobile device clips at www.Facebook.com/CesarsLastFast and www.youtube.com/user/CesarsLastFast. This strategy will ensure that the project reaches the audience that has come of age in the new media era.
The film’s director/producer, Richard Ray Perez, has exclusive rights to the never-before-seen footage and an exclusive agreement with the Cesar Chavez Foundation, the organization established by the Chavez family to control the rights to Cesar Chavez’s story. The project also benefits from Mr. Perez’s personal connection to the subject: for 22 years Mr. Perez’s father was a farm worker who labored and lived in the conditions Cesar Chavez fought to improve.
Legendary television producer Norman Lear provided the seed money for Cesar’s Last Fast though his foundation, The Lear Family Foundation. The project has also received funding from The Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, Latino Public Broadcasting, The California Community Foundation, the Alma and Morris Schapiro Fund and hundreds of community members who are passionate about presenting this story to a new generation of Americans.