Film and Video

Film and Video: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

DramaI have worked in film and video as an actor, director, producer, and writer. In 1968, while in Cuba assisting with a documentary film about Fidel Castro, I met Roque Dalton, the Salvadoran writer, then a fugitive in exile in Cuba. Together we wrote a TV drama that was produced for Cuban television.

In the thirty years since 1968, I continued to work on many film/TV projects as part of my activist life as a poet and writer. I co-produced both drama and public affairs programs for KQED’s “Open Studio.” I wrote the narration for an Oscar nominated documentary as well as writing, producing and winning international prizes for films about Chile (Que Hacer/What Is To Be Done), Nicaragua (Back from Nicaragua), and San Francisco (Después del Terremoto / After the Earthquake).

In 2009, I wrote an 18 episode telenovela or “soap opera” about four immigrant women in the USA trying to set up their own small businesses. This built on my earlier involvement in women-centered films that began with “Despues del Terremoto /After the Earthquake” in the late 70’s.

Most recently in 2011, I returned to Cuba to work on a soon-to-be-released project that relates to how my film work began. Austrian filmmaker Tina Leisch interviewed Nina extensively about her work with Roque Dalton in the late 1960’s. Dalton was assassinated in 1975 in El Salvador and is now the national poet of El Salvador.

Currently, I am working with my granddaughter, videographer, Nicole Landau on a short poetry video of my poems.

More on Nina Serrano’s film and television work.

About Nina Serrano: Nina is a well-known, international prize-winning inspirational author and poet. With a focus on Latino history and culture, she is also a playwright, filmmaker, KPFA talk show host, a former Alameda County Arts Commissioner, and a co-founder of the San Francisco Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Oakland Magazine’s “best local poet” in 2010, she is a former director of the San Francisco Poetry in the Schools program and the Bay Area’s Storytellers in the Schools program. A Latina activist for social justice, women’s rights, and the arts, Nina Serrano at 82 remains vitally engaged in inspiring change and exploring her abundant creativity. For more information go to ninaserrano.comor contact her publisher at For more detailed information about Nina see About Ninaon her website.

About Estuary Press: Estuary Press is the publisher of Nicaragua Way. It is also the home of the Harvey Richards Media Archive, a repository of photography and video documentaries of various social change and political movements during the 1960s and 1970s. Contact Paul Richards (510) 967 5577, or visit for more details.

MEDIA – For photos & interviews: Paul Richards (510) 967 5577;

The Mission Story Video

Reviewing the past reveals its relevance The Mission Story is about my arrival in the barrio in 1961 when I first began gathering impressions that became the setting for my historical novel, Nicaragua Way which is set in the Mission district of San Francisco … Continue reading

“Back From Nicaragua” (1984)

Hear Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Joan Baez, Reverend Don Chase and the Looters   In October, 1983, my daughter Valerie Landau and I decided to make “Back from Nicaragua” upon hearing the news of the US invasion of the tiny … Continue reading

After the Earthquake/Después del terremoto

A film about Central America by Lourdes Portillo and Nina Serrano It was sometime around 1977 or `78 when Lourdes Portillo and I saw a short documentary film about Central America showing a Mary Knoll house building project in Nicaragua … Continue reading

What Is to Be Done? Que Hacer?

A Film about Chile in 1970 Nina Serrano co-directed Que Hacer with Saul Landau and Raul Ruis.  The film, co-produced by James Beckett and Saul Landau, won the Venice Film Festival prize for Directing. It was filmed on location in Chile during … Continue reading

“Stop Monsanto!” A Poem by Nina Serrano

On a beautiful day in Oakland California, I participated in March Against Monsanto Rally, happening simultaneously worldwide. I was excited because I’d prepared a poem for the event that would finally free me from reading a piece of paper. For … Continue reading

Nina Serrano Video: Applause Teaches Child Storytellers the Right Lesson

Learning to Accept Applause Creates Self Esteem  Wikipedia says: “The custom of applauding may be as old and as widespread as humanity, and the variety of its forms is limited only by the capacity for devising means of making a … Continue reading