This year, the IDRA Newsletter will highlight our staff’s varied and diverse talents and backgrounds. As of January 2015, Hector Bojorquez, was named to lead IDRA’s  department of Student Access and Success. This department conducts and disseminates research to educators, policymakers and families concerning early child education, STEM, dropout solutions, and high school to college transitions. It also provides technical assistance to expand opportunities for systemic reform in our community schools. Mr. Bojorquez is the principal author of IDRA’s newest publication, College Bound and Determined.

His talents and background, however, also are deeply rooted in the arts. On October 31, 2013, Mr. Bojorquez put the final touches on his first feature film, Borderlands, which he co-wrote with his brother, Gerald Pettit. This was a major step along the path to a larger goal of seeing Borderlands become a cable television show. Mr. Bojorquez has been writing poetry, short stories and scripts for 20 years. His written work has been published in Viaztlan, a poetry quarterly, but it is the film work that has reached large audiences. Borderlands was accepted to be screened at the San Antonio Film Festival and Cinefestival. The film also won the 2014 Best in Show award from the Accolade Global Film Competition.

Borderlands is a love song to Mexican American mothers along the South Texas border and a tribute to their unwavering devotion to family and their hard-earned heroism. That said, it is unlike any portrayal audiences are likely to have seen in other Chicano or Mexican American films. The heroine, María Lara, a 74-year-old Mexican American woman, is hell-bent on having the last word, fiercely protective of her family, and dysfunctional as can be. She is not a gentle, Zen-like grandmotherly woman. She is loved as well as feared and will go to extremes to get her way. This is not a pastoral view of Mexican American mothers as long-suffering women in their oppression but a flesh and blood portrayal of the toll taken by everyday heroism. The film stars his  mother, Sandra Bojorquez, a veteran actress and radio personality. Borderlands was dedicated to Gerald Pettit who passed away before filming took place.

Mr. Bojorquez’s film career is now taking him to different artistic endeavors in short films, comedy and a new script, tentatively titled Homecoming, a psychological crime thriller. He has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Texas at Austin. A former bilingual teacher, Mr. Bojorquez came to IDRA in 2003.

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[©2015, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the January 2015 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]