The documentary ‘ Portuguese in California ‘, directed by Nelson Ponta-Garça, is being presented this summer to Azorean audiences on the islands of São Miguel (July 18th 2015), Pico (August 1), Faial (August 4), Terceira (August 8), Graciosa (August 10th and 12th) and São Jorge (August 15th).
A bilingual production, co-sponsored by the Government of the Azores, the documentary has been already presented internationally to Portuguese diaspora audiences in over 12 countries.
The film features the immigrant experience of the Portuguese community in California, its rich history and culture, capturing the Portuguese contributions to the west coast from fisheries and agriculture to Hollywood.
Nelson Ponta-Garça, a native of Los Gatos, California, is a first generation Portuguese American with roots in São Jorge island. A former student from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and the Berklee College of Music, he is the founder and owner of NPG Multimedia Productions in the San Francisco area. About 90 percent of the Portuguese immigrants who established roots in California came from the Azores.
The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the fifteenth century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.