Emily Cohen Ibañez is a Colombian-American filmmaker who earned her doctorate in Anthropology (2011) with a certificate in Culture and Media at New York University. Her film work pairs lyricism with social activism, advocating for labor, environmental, and health justice. Her debut feature documentary BODIES AT WAR/MINA (2015) premiered at El Festival de Cine de Bogotá where it was nominated for a UNICEF award. Her short films premiered at Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, Society for Visual Anthropology, and the Roxie Theatre in San Francisco. The National Science Foundation, Fulbright, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, BAVC National Media Maker, JustFilms Ford Foundation, California Humanities, and SFFILM FilmHouse Residency Program amongst others have supported her work.
A Mexican-American teenager dreams of graduating high school, when increased ICE raids in her community threaten to separate her family and force her to become the breadwinner for her family. She works long days in the strawberry fields and the night shift at a food processing factory. Set in an agricultural town on the central coast of California, FRUITS OF LABOR is a coming of age story about an American teenager traversing the seen and unseen forces that keep her family trapped in poverty. A lyrical meditation on adolescence, nature and ancestral forces, the film asks, what does it mean to come into one’s power as a working young woman of color in the wealthiest nation in the world?