The Chunky Film Project: Singing Our Way to Freedom

This feature length documentary film, currently in post-production, is a multilayered portrait of Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez – musician, composer and community activist from San Diego. From the early days of the Chicano civil rights movement alongside Cesar Chavez through today’s immigrants’ rights protests, Chunky has used music to energize our political imagination in the struggle for social justice. Our film examines how Chunky’s inspiring career as a musician is interwoven with the broader history of the Chicano movement, a cultural movement nearly forgotten today. A portrait of one charismatic musician and activist allows us to revisit this pivotal era in American history and to provoke dialogue about the many hurdles that had to be overcome to gain equal rights for Mexican Americans.

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Our Team

Paul Espinosa is the film’s Producer, Director and Writer. He is an award-winning San Diego filmmaker and Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University who has been involved with producing films and documentaries for PBS for over 35 years. He has had over 15 national broadcasts on PBS (The Lemon Grove Incident, …and the earth did not swallow him, The Hunt for Pancho Villa, The U.S.-Mexican War) and his films have won eight Emmys and five CINE Golden Eagles with screenings around the country and throughout the world. You can learn more about his work at

ProducersMark Day is an Emmy award-winning producer whose films include The San Patricios, Stepan Chemical and River of Broken PromisesMichael Bovee has produced and edited many films for PBS including Liquid Stage: The Lure of Surfing and The Border.

Cinematographers:  Vicente Franco (The Most Dangerous Man In America, Botany of Desire, Freedom on my Mind and The Fight in the Fields), Simone Hogan (Test the West!)

Editor:  Maria Zeiss (The Price of Renewal, Remaking American Medicine)

Advisors: Dr. Luis Alvarez, University of California, San Diego; Dr. Estevan Azcona, University of Houston; Dr. Richard Griswold del Castillo, San Diego State University; Dr. Jorge Mariscal, University of California, San Diego; Dr. Rita Sanchez, San Diego Mesa College; Dr. Michelle Tellez, University of Arizona; Jose “Pepe” Villarino, San Diego State University