PBS Documentary: "Harvest Season"
May 09, 2019
HARVEST SEASON delves into the lives of people who work behind the scenes of the premium California wine industry, during one of the most dramatic grape harvests in recent memory. The film follows the stories of Mexican-American winemakers and migrant workers who are essential to the wine business, yet are rarely recognized for their contributions. Their stories unfold as wildfires ignite in Napa and Sonoma counties, threatening the livelihoods of small farmers and winemakers who are already grappling with a growing labor shortage, shifting immigration policies, and the impacts of a rapidly changing climate.
Bernardo Ruiz is a two-time Emmy nominated documentary director and producer based in New York. He was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His directorial feature debut, Reportero, (POV, 2013) about attacks on the press in Mexico premiered at Full Frame (U.S.), IDFA (Europe) and Ambulante (Mexico) film festivals. New York Magazine called it “a powerful reminder of how journalism often requires immense amounts of physical and psychological bravery.”
His second feature documentary, Kingdom of Shadows (POV, 2016) premiered at SXSW in the U.S. and IDFA in Europe. “Many documentaries have chronicled the drug war in the U.S. and Mexico,” writes Slackerwood of the film, “but few have humanized it as poignantly as Kingdom of Shadows. [It] is more observant than crusading...rooted in first-rate journalism.” The New York Times called it “unforgettable.”
Previously he created and Executive Produced the two part bilingual PBS series, “The Graduates/Los Graduados” (Independent Lens, 2013). Edutopia called it “a winner that should be seen by as many students, teachers and parents as possible.” Ruiz also wrote, directed and produced Roberto Clemente (PBS, 2008) which was awarded the NCLR, “Alma” Award for “Outstanding Made for Television Documentary." He co- produced the The Sixth Section/La Sexta Sección (POV, 2003) which won the best short documentary award at the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico in 2003.
Ruiz is a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) fellowship in film and was awarded the Rockefeller Bellagio residency. His work has been funded by the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur foundation Sundance, ITVS, Cinereach and the Fledgling Fund, among others. In the fall of 2015, Ruiz was a filmmaker in residence at the Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.