Stylized Birds

Stylized Birds

The approach and style I would like to lean towards is Cinéma vérité. I want the film to create a homey, warm, and welcoming feeling. I want the audience to feel comfortable and apart of our family. Instead of going for a more high tech camera I would like to have each member of the production team to have a hand held camera to create a more home video feel and to capture as many family moments as we can.

Destined for Each Other

Destined for Each Other

Otto Bird and Esther Munoz both lived 2 blocks from each other in Nicaragua and both attended private school (a huge deviation from the norm of their neighborhood), however they were brother and sister schools. When they were both 17 they immigrated out of Nicaragua and moved to San Francisco, both using a fake address  so they could go to Serramonte High School. However it was not until their senior year of high school that Otto and Esther Bird would meet each other, finishing what destiny had been trying to do since they were little. These destined lovers are still 41 years later deeply in love and happy together.

The Flag and The Symbol

The Flag and The Symbol

The Nicaraguan flag has three horizontal bands with the national coat of arms centered in the white band. The white band represents the territory of Nicaragua as well as its pureness. The two blue bands signify the two oceans that border Nicaragua. The coat of arms features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on the top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom.

  • It has the shape of an equal triangle, the triangle stands for EQUALITY
  • The rainbow signifies PEACE.
  • The phrygian cap symbolizes FREEDOM
  • The five volcanoes represent the UNION and the FRATERNITY between the five Central American countries.

    “National Symbols.” National Symbols. Web. 15 June 2015.



With U.S. support, Anastasio Somoza García outmaneuvered his political opponents, including Sandino, and took over the presidency in 1936. The Somoza family would rule until 1979.

The earliest opposition to Somoza came from the educated middle class and the normally conservative wealthy, such as Pedro Joaquín Chamorro. On September 21, 1956, Rigoberto López Pérez sneaked into a party attended by the President and shot him in the chest. In his memoirs Nicaragua Betrayed, Anastasio Debayle (Somoza’s son) claims that Chamorro had knowledge of the assassination plot. While the assassin quickly died in a hail of gunfire, Somoza himself died a few days later, in an American hospital in the Panama Canal Zone.

Divisions within the Conservative Party in the 1932 elections paved the way for the Liberal Juan Bautista Sacasa to assume power. This initiated an inherently weak presidency—hardly an obstacle to Somoza as he set about building his personal influence over Congress and the ruling Liberal Party. President Sacasa’s popularity decreased as a result of his poor leadership and accusations of fraud in the 1934 congressional elections. Somoza García benefited from Sacasa’s diminishing power, and at the same time brought together the National Guard and the Liberal Party in order to win the presidential elections in 1936. Somoza Garcia also cultivated support from former presidents Moncada and Chamorro while consolidating control within the Liberal Party.

Early in 1936, Somoza openly confronted President Sacasa by using military force to displace local government officials loyal to the president and replacing them with close associates. Somoza García’s increasing military confrontation led to Sacasa’s resignation on June 6, 1936. The Congress appointed Carlos Brenes Jarquín, a Somoza García associate, as interim president and postponed presidential elections until December. In November, Somoza resigned as chief director of the National Guard, thus complying with constitutional requirements for eligibility to run for the presidency. The Liberal Nationalist Party (PLN) was established with support from a faction of the Conservative Party to support Somoza Garcia’s candidacy. Somoza was elected president in the December election by the remarkable margin of 107,201 votes to 108. On January 1, 1937, he resumed control of the National Guard, combining the roles of president and chief director of the military.

After Somoza’s win in the December 1936 presidential elections, he proceeded to consolidate his power within the National Guard, while at the same time dividing his political opponents. Family members and close associates were given key positions within the government and the military. The Somoza family also controlled the PLN, which in turn controlled the legislature and judicial system, thus giving Somoza absolute power over every sphere of Nicaraguan politics. Nominal political opposition was allowed as long as it did not threaten the ruling elite. Somoza Garcia’s National Guard repressed serious political opposition and antigovernment demonstrations. The institutional power of the National Guard grew in most government owned enterprises, until eventually it controlled the national radio and telegraph networks, the postal and immigration services, health services, the internal revenue service, and the national railroads.

In less than two years after his election, Somoza Garcia, defying the Conservative Party, declared his intention to stay in power beyond his presidential term. Thus, in 1938, Somoza Garcia named a Constituent Assembly that gave the president extensive power and elected him for another eight-year term. A Constituent Assembly, extension of the presidential term from four years to six years, and clauses empowering the president to decree laws relating to the National Guard without consulting Congress, ensured Somoza’s absolute control over the state and military. Control over electoral and legislative machinery provided the basis for a permanent dictatorship.

“Nicaragua.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 18 June 2015.

Sandinistas (FSLN)

Sandinistas (FSLN)

The Nicaraguan Revolution started with the rising opposition to the Somoza dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s, the campaign led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) violently ousted the dictatorship in 1978-79, the subsequent efforts of the FSLN to govern Nicaragua from 1979 until 1990 and the Contra War which was waged between the FSLN and the Contras from 1981-1990. The Revolution marked a significant period in Nicaraguan history and revealed the country as one of the major proxy war battlegrounds of the Cold War. Although the initial overthrow of the Somoza regime in 1978–79 was a bloody affair, the Contra War of the 1980s took the lives of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans and was the subject of fierce international debate. During the 1980s both the FSLN and the Contras received large amounts of aid from the Cold War super-powers. The Contra War ultimately ended following the signing of the Tela Accord in 1989 and the demobilization of the FSLN and Contra armies. A second election in 1990 resulted in the election of a majority of anti-Sandinista parties and the FSLN handing over power.

 The era of Somoza family rule was characterized by rising inequality and political corruption, strong US support for the government and its military, as well as a reliance on US-based multinational corporations. In 1961 José Carlos Fonseca Amador, Silvio Mayorga, and Tomás Borge Martínez formed the FSLN and, with the help of students, the organization gathered support from peasants and anti-Somoza elements within Nicaraguan society, as well as from the Communist Cuban government, the leftist Panamanian government of Omar Torrijos, and the Venezuelan government of Carlos Andrés Pérez. By the 1970s theLeninist-oriented organization was strong enough to launch a military effort against the regime of longtime dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle.

In the 1970s the FSLN began a campaign of kidnappings which led to national recognition of the group in the Nicaraguan media and solidification of the group as a force in opposition to the Somoza Regime.The Somoza Regime, which included the Nicaraguan National Guard, a force highly trained by the U.S. military, used torture, extra-judicial killings, intimidation and censorship of the press in order to combat the FSLN attacks. This led to international condemnation of the regime and in 1977 the Carter Administration in the U.S. cut off aid to the Somoza regime due to its human rights violations.

On 10 January 1978 the editor of the leftist Managua newspaper La Prensa, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal was murdered by suspected elements of the Somoza regime and riots broke out in the capital city, Managua, targeting the Somoza regime. Following the riots, a general strike on January 23–24 called for the end of the Somoza regime and was, according to the U.S. State Department staff at the U.S. Embassy, successful at shutting down around 80% of businesses in not only Managua but also the provincial capitals of Leon, Granada, Chinandega, and Matagalpa.On 22 August 1978 the FSLN staged a massive kidnapping operation in which they took around 2,000 hostages at the National Palace in Managua. After two days, the government agreed to pay $500,000 and release certain prisoners resulting in a major victory for the FSLN.In early 1979 the Organization of American States supervised negotiations between the FSLN and the government. However, these broke down when it became clear that the Somoza regime had no intention of allowing democratic elections to take place. By June the FSLN controlled all of the country except the capital, and on 17 July 1979 President Somoza resigned and the FSLN entered Managua, giving full control of the government to the revolutionary movements.

The FSLN remains one of Nicaragua’s two leading parties. The FSLN often polls in opposition to the Constitutionalist Liberal Party, or PLC. In the 2006 Nicaraguan general election, former FSLN President Daniel Ortegawas re-elected President of Nicaragua with 38.7% of the vote compared to 29% for his leading rival, bringing in the country’s second Sandinista government after 16 years of the opposition winning elections. Ortega and the FSLN were re-elected again in the presidential election of November 2011.

“Nicaraguan Revolution.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 18 June 2015.

Prevost, Gary, and Vanden, Harry E., eds. UNDERMINING OF THE SANDINISTA REVOLUTION. New York, NY, USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 1999. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 18 June 2015.

Ryan, P.. Fall and Rise of the Market in Sandinista Nicaragua. Montreal, QC, CAN: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1995. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 18 June 2015.


295606_2083824066828_4452541_n My Lito amazes me all the time with how much he loves and cares for everyone, even when someone has wronged him he will say “I feel so bad for them”. He only wants happiness for everyone and that is why he is one of the happiest people I know.

Score inspiration

I LOVE movie scores, they can tell an entire story just with sound and are so beautiful to listen to. Some of my favorite scores are from movies such as Howl’s Moving Castle, Ratatouille, and Pride and Prejudice (the one with Keira Knightly not bbc version). Ive noticed the more calmer tones are the ones that I prefer. I  love piano use in score especially when they are paired with an amazing violin. However in the score for my documentary I would like to explore the use of congos. I would like my score to have a latin feel almost like slowed down salsa. My family listens to the greats like Hector Lavoe, Jerry Rivera, and Marc Anthony, so I would draw my inspiration from their music. Que Lio by Hector Lavoe has a background that I would like to resemble.