Advancing institutional change in support of migrants' rights

About the Project

“The AV team is very responsive and really have it together. The braintrust strategy sessions they led to get us thinking about how to use this film have been really helpful.” — Cathy Montoya, CAMBIO

With U.S.-Mexico border deaths on the rise despite a decline in the total number of people crossing the border, Marc Silver’s Who Is Dayani Cristal? points to a little-known national crisis. Tracing the footsteps of an unidentified migrant whose body was found along the border, the film leaves us wondering: How are U.S. and transnational policies contributing to this phenomenon? And what can be done to save the lives of hundreds — even thousands — of migrants every year? In collaboration with the Ford Foundation and a network of partners around the U.S. and Mexico, Active Voice is conducting a series of screenings that are prompting policy discussions and advancing institutional changes to protect the rights of future migrants.


Our Work

  • U.S. braintrust
  • Mexico braintrust
  • Strategy development, with a focus on institutional change
  • High-profile screenings in the U.S. and Mexico designed to reach influentials, policymakers, and people "beyond the choir"
  • Messaging and framing
  • Facilitation tips and discussion questions
  • Coordination with social impact team and distributors in U.S. and Mexico
  • Evaluation


  • Migrants moved to share their stories during post-screening discussions
  • Increased awareness of border issues among 87% of audiences
  • Motivation to take action by 59% of audiences
  • Heightened understanding of the urgency of border issues among audience members
  • Dialogue about the film initiated by audience members
  • Actions taken to grab attention of decisionmakers, including signatures for postcards to congressmen
  • Increased visibility of national policy efforts
  • Strengthened relationships between advocates/activists on both sides of the border
  • Interest by others in the community to see the film
  • Interest by audience members in using the film in various ways

Key Partners

  • Ford Foundation
  • Border Network for Human Rights
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • Church World Service
  • Jesuit Refugee Service
  • Southern Borders Community Coalition/Alliance San Diego
  • Coalición Pro Migrante
  • Kino Border Initiative
  • Colegio de la Frontera Norte
  • Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional
  • Lina Srivastava Consulting LLC

Film Trailer

Filmmakers Marc Silver and Gael Garcia Bernal