Filmmakers and Producers

Al Santana

Al Santana is a visual artist, independent filmmaker, cinematographer, and still photographer. His credits over the past 40 years includes work on numerous award winning documentaries, public affairs films and videos that have aired on both network and public television. 2012, Salty Dog Blues, produced by Al Santana and Denise Belén Santiago takes a look a little-known history of people of color in the U.S. merchant marines. Salty Dog Blues won first prize in the 2013 Workers Unite International Film Festival. One People (2007) a hybrid doc/fiction film focuses on two sisters and their quest to discover a politicized Lorraine Hansberry. Blues People (2007) documented Mississippi blues musicians for an interactive web series titled “Blues People” which aired WGBO Boston. Military Option (2005) co-produced with Rico Speight and Third World Newsreel, takes a critical look at military recruiting practices within communities of color. Military Option screened at The National Gallery of Art, BAM Rose Cinemas, The Museum of Modern Art, Anthology Film Archives and at various colleges and universities. In The Spirit of Peace (2002) In response to the events of 9/11, Al Santana’s documentary short screened at the Brooklyn Arts Council, Museum of Modern Art, BAM Rose Cinemas and aired on WNET Channel 13’s Reel New York. Voices of The Gods (1985) looks at two ancient West African religions practiced in the United States today. The feature documentary premiered at the 1985 Margaret Mead International Film Festival and went on to screen at festivals in France, Italy, Burkina Faso, Canada, and is currently housed in the permanent collection of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Research Center in Black Culture and numerous colleges, universities and museums. Al holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the CUNY BA program in Sociology and Film, a Master of Fine Arts degree from National University in Digital Cinema.


In the Spirit of Peace
Al Santana
Producer: Third World Newsreel
2001, 8 min., Color, US
After September 11th, religion becomes the vehicle for a community looking for commensurability in the midst of an environment that would rather seek quick answers to a larger problem....

Military Option
Al Santana & Alonzo Speight
Producer: Third World Newsreel
2005, 11 min., Color, US
Women, money and travel. It's still the hook that military recruiters are using on young men, as two students discover at a Queens recruitment office. A look at the military recruitment process through a mixture of performance and the experiences of two young men of color....

One People
Al Santana
Producer: Laura L. Fowler & Al Santana
2007, 30 min., Color, US
Is everything political? Against the backdrop of a gentrified Harlem community, the story centers on two sisters who have opposite views about social responsibility and the role of artists. Aliyah, a self-styled revolutionary filmmaker, is producing a documentary about the 1960's black power movemen...

Salty Dog Blues
Al Santana & Denise B Santiago
2012, 52 min., Color/BW, US
SALTY DOG BLUES features a group of men and women of color who served in the United States Merchant Marine from 1937 – 1989. This nine-year project examines their development as a multi-racial and international labor force, their contributions to the World War II efforts, their relationship to the N...

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TWN acknowledges that in New York we are on the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape, Canarsie, Shinecock, and Munsee peoples and challenges the harm that continues to be inflicted upon Indigenous and People of Color communities here and abroad, which is why we all need to be part of the struggle for rights, equality and justice.

TWN is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Congress, MOSAIC, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Humanities NY, Ford Foundation, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and individual donors.