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Las Marthas

Cristina Ibarra

USA, Documentary/History, 2013
69 min, HDCAM, Color
English, Spanish with English subtitles

This film was screened as a part of the 2014 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF17)


The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other. Part of the largest celebration of George Washington’s birthday in the world, a select group of mostly Mexican-American girls is chosen each year to dress in elaborate gowns representing iconic figures from America’s colonial history. Their goal: to recreate a party hosted by Martha Washington, but this time set along the US/Mexico border. A year in the making, each girl’s dress can weigh 100 lbs and cost up to $30,000–nearly the median family income of Laredo. A 2012 Heineken VOCES Documentary Award recipient, LAS MARTHAS follows two of the girls, Laurita Garza Hovel and Rosario Reyes, as they prepare for this extraordinary rite of passage.

Austin Premiere
Co-presented by Las Comadres

About the director

1 Cristina Ibarra wCristina Ibarra is a Chicana filmmaker raised in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Her short film DIRTY LAUNDRY: A HOMEMADE TELENOVELA won multiple awards at festivals and was broadcast on PBS. Her critically acclaimed documentary THE LAST CONQUISTADOR had a national broadcast on POV. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts, among others.


Producer: Erin Ploss-Campoamor, Cristina Ibarra
Production Companies: Undocumented Films
Screenwriter: Cristina Ibarra, Erin Ploss-Campoamor
Cinematographer: Edwin Martinez
Editor: Carla Gutierrez, Sonia Gonzales-Martinez
Sound Design: Ruy Garcia
Music: David Majzlin
Cast: Laura Garza Hovel, Rosario Reyes, Linda Leyendecker Gutierrez

Print Source: Kristen Fitzpatrick – Women Make Movies,



Las Marthas w