We at the Clog love to live vicariously through the wild success of our fellow Berkeleyans, and needless to say, we did a victory lap when we heard that some Berkeley folk would be making an appearance at the Emmys. So, maybe it’s not our nomination exactly, but two grad students plan to be reppin’ Cal at the News and Documentary Emmys on Sept. 26 for doing what Berkeley does best: combining research with activism to make a delicious cocktail of justice.

Public-policy grad students Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete were nominated for their documentary “Presunto Culpable” (or “Presumed Guilty”) in the categories of best documentary, outstanding investigative journalism (long form) and best research. They began filming six years ago in Mexican courtrooms and detention centers, focusing on a first-degree murder case. The film includes more than 500 interviews and revelations about system bias towards the prosecution.

The documentary’s early form was a short version, which became a YouTube success. The full version has experienced similar popularity — it is now the most-viewed documentary in Mexican history. The eye-opener is even scheduled to air on prime-time Mexican television on Saturday, Sept. 24, on the same channel where the top telenovelas air! For once, a hard-hitting documentary is as popular as lovers in comas and heated affairs, thanks to the ground-breaking work of Hernández and Negrete.

Even while they bask in their success (and await the Emmy decisions at Monday’s ceremony), the two continue their research in order to improve Mexico’s judicial system. We’re just glad that we saw “Presunto Culpable” when it showed at the PFA in May 2010.

Presumed Guilty/Presunto Culpable [YouTube]
Grad Students doc’ on Mexican justice is up for three Emmys [UC Berkeley NewsCenter]

Korneli Ostrowski said:
Mar 23, 2012 at 12:00 am