``You have four kids that come from nothing, and look what they
did,'' Mazzio said in a recent telephone interview. ``There are
millions of kids like them. All they need is a little bit of
opportunity to flourish.''
Narrated in English by actor Michael Peña, ``Underwater
Dreams'' shows how two science teachers decided to enter the
Phoenix high school in the robot competition organized by NASA
by 2004, and the kids went on to beat teams from several
prestigious universities, including MIT.
``Underwater Dreams'' screens Friday at commercial movie
theaters in New York and Los Angeles, and the AMC movie chain
has promised 100 free showings to community groups around the
and Mun2 will also simultaneously transmit a 44-minute
version of the documentary in the United States at 1 p.m. EDT on
July 20, 2014.
Although three of the four youths have not attended college in
the U.S. because of their migratory situation, the film shows
how high school students with limited opportunities can succeed
if given the chance.
The showing of the documentary, Mazzio's eighth, comes several
weeks after the Republican majority in the House of
Representatives announced it would not vote this year for
immigration reform legislation earlier approved by the Senate.
``"Will the film change anything? Absolutely not, but if we can
open one disbeliever's eyes on the magnitude of opportunities
for these children, then we can start changing hearts and
minds,'' she said.
Mazzio said her film also promotes the importance of careers in
science and technology for Latinos.
The filmmaker said she decided to look deeper at the Latino
experience in the U.S. following the success for her 2011
documentary ``The Apple Pushers,'' about immigrant street
vendors selling fresh fruit from carts in New York neighborhoods
suffering from obesity.