6abc+logoFaces of Change in Immigration Reform


Kristal Sotomayor is producing and directing a documentary film called Expanding Sanctuary. The film follows immigrant rights organization Juntos as they campaigned against the continuation of PARS, a database of personal information shared between the city of Philadelphia and ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.


The Philadelphia Inquirer‘Expanding Sanctuary’ documents Latinx role in Philly’s campaign to end PARS access

By Jesenia De Moya Correa, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Camera in hand, Kristal Sotomayor found herself in the streets of Philadelphia capturing what came to be a historic moment: the end of a more than 10-year-old agreement that allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers access to the Police Department’s Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS).


Philadelphia-Gay-NewsDocumentary shows Latinx activism on film — and behind the lens

By Gary Kramer, Philadelphia Gay News

As a queer woman of color, our stories are not told by us, or people who live our experience. It’s told by privilege,” she said. “I have privilege with the camera of telling this story and being responsible to this community and to decolonize the sometimes-abusive ways documentary filmmakers take a story from the community. I didn’t want to do what straight white male filmmakers do when they make communities-of-color documentaries.


Generocity+Logo‘Expanding Sanctuary’ is a success story. And a record of how immigrants changed policy in Philadelphia

By Peak Johnson, Generocity

This film is a success story, it’s about an immigrant community that is being heavily targeted right now, that is able to organize to make political changes, policy changes that will help them. That isn’t often seen… I think that this offers a different perspective on immigration because now it’s just sadness and tragedy with people being like, ‘oh they’re helpless.’ Immigrants are not helpless. They are incredibly strong people.


Al+Dia+LogoFundraiser launches for ‘Expanding Sanctuary’ documentary

By Emily Neil, AL DÍA

“It was “fate,” said Sotomayor, that it happened to be the perfect moment for the beginning of a partnership that would eventually produce “Expanding Sanctuary,” a documentary on the work of Juntos and immigrant activists to expand immigrant rights in Philadelphia.”

“Fue el destino”, dijo Sotomayor, que hubiese sido el momento perfecto para iniciar una sociedad que más tarde produjo “Expanding Sanctuary” [Santuario en Expansión], un documental acerca de la labor de Juntos y de activistas inmigrantes que buscan expandir los derechos de los inmigrantes en Filadelfia.


South+Philly+Review+LogoLocal resident films documentary surrounding successful immigrant-rights campaign in South Philly

By Grace Maiorano, South Philly Review

I mostly want people to learn about the different systems of policing and surveillance that affect communities of color, because this issue of the sharing of the police database doesn’t only affect Latinx immigrants… It just happens that Latinx immigrants-rights organizations were the ones that kind of led this, but it doesn’t mean that it just affects them. It affects all immigrants, and it also affects all people of color…If someone can learn more about how to liberate themselves from these systems that just want to imprison communities of color, then I think that’s it.


Just-Add-ColorFund This Project: ‘Expanding Sanctuary’ Explores Philadelphia’s Grassroots Immigration Advocacy

By Monique Jones, Just Add Color

Expanding Sanctuary highlights Juntos’ work to end Philadelphia’s practice of sharing its police database to ICE, putting immigrant families at risk for deportation without legal due process. “The database holds personal information of not only those arrested, but anyone who has had any contact with the police… This means ICE had access to victims, witnesses, and those fingerprinted at the border.”


Title+LogoValuing Living Experiences: An Interview with the Expanding Sanctuary film crew

By Laurel McLaughlin, Title Magazine

Working with Juntos, a “community-led, Latinx organization in South Philadelphia” that advocates for the rights of workers, youth, and immigrants, Sotomayor told me about the documentary that follows the journey to end the sharing of Philadelphia police database information (PARS) with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


PinkLeoProductionsMixing It Up with Maggi: Expanding Sanctuary

By Maggi Delgado, PinkLeo Productions

Maggi talks to Kristal about her new documentary Expanding Sanctuary which explores the immigration community in Philadelphia.


The Philadelphia InquirerWhat’s New At This Year’s Philadelphia Latino Film Festival?

by Jesenia De Moya Correa, The Philadelphia Inquirer

The work-in-progress lab centers on immigrant rights, as two filmmakers — Kristal Sotomayor and Melissa Beatriz — present their documentary ideas and the challenges they’ve faced trying to produce them.


1200px-WHYY_Logo.svgApplauding Oscar Diversity, Philly Filmmakers Say It’s Just A Start

By Ximena Conde, WHYY

Still, Kristal Sotomayor, another Philadelphia filmmaker and programming coordinator for the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences still has a long way to go, calling the institution classist and elitist.


PFS logo black extra smallShowcase Filmmaker Spotlight: Kristal Sotomayor

by Travis Trew, Philadelphia Film Society

A recent graduate of Bryn Mawr college, Kristal Sotomayor parlayed her interest in filmmaking into an internship with PBS’s POV series, and has received a fellowship with Scribe Video Center to produce a documentary about immigrant rights in Philadelphia. A very personal essay film incorporating poetic narration and family photos, To My Motherland explores the complexities of immigration and integration in the United States.


tumblr_ojdxhutor21si5a0no1_540To Call It Home: Kristal Sotomayor ’17 brings “the tradition of Bryn Mawr fearlessness” to her filmmaking

By Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Bulletin

Kristal Sotomayor ’17 was living her dream this spring when her film, To My Motherland, screened at the Kurzfilmfestival in Germany. Her exploration of identity and the meaning of home appeared in a curated program of 11 films about belonging and acceptance. Her film has also had showings at the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, Rough Cut Film Festival, and Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival, and was shortlisted for the Independent Women Films at The Lost Format Society in London.