Amongst A Lifetime Of Achievements
By Tod Jonson
Chairman, Lakeside Community Awards Committee
Though our 2012 Community Awards ceremony has been temporarily postponed, we thought it important to inform those who might wonder how our Awards Committee sometimes makes its decisions that the following were some of the facts we reviewed before deciding on Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez as our recipient of 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.
- In1979, Grattan wrote, co-produced and directed one of the first major movies to deal with the Mexican-American experience. Only Once in a Lifetime was invited to premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In the audience were several ambassadors to the US from Latin American countries, including Mexico. Later, the First Family of Mexico requested a private screening.
- Eventually, the film was selected as one of the very few movies to represent the USA at the 1979 Deauville Film Festival in France, and was also named Film of the Year by two US Hispanic magazines, SOMOS and NUESTRO.
- Over a 27-year career in the American movie industry, Grattan directed and/or produced five feature films, and wrote 23 screenplays, nine of which were either sold or held under option, some on repeated occasions.
- In 1980, Grattan was given a Special Commendation by the National Association of Mexican-American Educators for his help in raising tens of thousands of dollars to fund Bi-Lingual Educational Programs in California.
- In 1987, Grattan directed the Lakeside Little Theater production of Arsenic and Old Lace, which went on to hold the attendance record for some ten years before being broken by the LLT’s production of Nunsense.
- In 1988, he founded the Ajijic Writers’ Group—the longest-lasting ex-pat writers’ group in Mexico, if not in the world. (In 2011, Grattan won the Lakeside Community Award “Pioneer of the Year” for this achievement.)
- In 1995, Grattan had a book-signing event for his first novel, The Dark Side of the Dream, and donated all the proceeds, almost $800 US, to Programa Ninos Incapacitados. (In 2001, he was given a Special Commendation by this group for his help in promoting and publicizing its humanitarian activities.)
- In 1999, his script, Breaking Even, won the Jury Award at the Ajijic Film Festival. In 2000, his script, The Stuff of Dreams, in competition with works from several countries, won the “Best Screenplay” award at the Ajijic Film Festival. In 2004, The Stuff of Dreams was judged one of the top three screenplays (among 36 scripts) at the Puerto Vallarta Film Festival.
- In 2007, he was selected for inclusion in the Marquis Edition of Who’s Who in Mexico.
- In 2011, in three world-wide script contests sponsored by amazon.com, his screenplay, The Stuff of Dreams, finished in the Top Two Percent of the more than 2500 entries in each contest. Mexico’s pre-Columbian history serves as the backdrop for the script.
- Editor-in-Chief of El Ojo del Lago for past 17 years. First Mexican-American to hold the post, and as such has served as a Goodwill Ambassador to both the Mexican and Ex-pat communities. He has written many editorials to help create more understanding and rapport between the two groups.
- Author of seven novels, two of which have Mexican-American motifs, and today are in over 1200 libraries in the US and Canada.
Congratulations, Sr. Grattan, from the Awards’ Committee!