A hotel housekeeper, from the Dominican Republic, has won a City Council seat in Providence, Rhode Island. Carmen balances cleaning hotel rooms with navigating a political establishment that does not easily acquiesce to the needs of working people. She falls in love and gets married, but the relationship falls apart. That doesn’t stop her from gaining confidence in her new political role. She manages complicated neighborhood dynamics, and takes on issues of tax equity and fair wages. Despite her leadership, she faces a tight re-election campaign when her contenders suggest a more traditional politician would do a better job.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Margo Guernsey, director of Councilwoman, is a documentary filmmaker based in Boston. When she is not producing long form stories, she directs and writes non-profit and industrial videos for the web. In addition to Councilwoman, she is developing A Song of Hope, a historical documentary about civil rights legend Pauli Murray. Guernsey has worked as a Producer at WPBT2, Miami’s PBS Station, as a professional fundraiser and communications director for two different non-profits, and as a union organizer. She is bilingual Spanish/English. Guernsey founded Time Travel Productions in 2012. She holds an MFA from the University of Miami and a BA from Brown University.
Patricia Benabe, producer of Councilwoman, produced feature documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart (Tribeca Film Festival, 2016; POV, 2017) and short films Love The Sinner (Tribeca Film Festival, 2017) and They Took Them Alive (Full Frame, 2017). She co-produced The Hand That Feeds (Emmy Nominee; America ReFramed, 2016) and Reportero (Emmy nominee; POV, 2013). Her films have received support from Ford Foundation, Cinereach, Latino Public Broadcasting, ITVS, POV, Chicken and Egg, Fledgling, and Sundance Film Institute. Here is a new bio for me! Margo’s feature directorial debut is Councilwoman. She works as a freelance producer and writer for non-profit shorts, and is developing two other projects including The Price of Survival, a film about Pauli Murray (working title), which has NEH development funding. In the past, Margo worked as a Producer at WPBT2 (Miami). She transitioned to filmmaking after work in non-profit fundraising and as a UNITE HERE union organizer. She holds an MFA in Film (University of Miami), MA in History (Umass/Amherst), BA in History (Brown University), and is a Tribeca/Camden/CNNFilms Retreat Alumni. She is bilingual Spanish/English and the proud mother of two young children.