film crew

Writer & Director:

Esaú Meléndez emigrated from Mexico City where he spent most of his childhood and presently lives in Chicago with his family. He has been involved in film and TV production for the past 10 years, working as a director, producer, cameraman and editor. He studied film & video at Columbia College in Chicago and soon after began working with the Spanish Broadcast Network, Telemundo and WYCC, a Chicago PBS affiliate. He has also directed award winning short films “El Solo in a New City” and “Escucha!” Esaú has directed and produced various commercials and music videos with his production company, Clandestino Films. His passion has always been to tell stories regarding social issues that affect the community. Immigrant Nation!: The Battle for the Dream, is Esaú’s first feature film. 




Associate Producer:

Juan Carlos Hernández was born in Michoacán México and grew up in East Chicago, Indiana. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and is a freelance writer for Hispanic Magazine, a freelance producer for WTTW V-me and an English professor with the City Colleges of Chicago. He is currently finishing a book on the Camino de Santiago.

Research & Associate Producer:

Pat Lofthouse is a teacher/librarian/writer/producer and researcher who has won two Emmy Awards, a Lisagor Award, as well as Teddy and Freddy Awards. She uses her informational skills combined with her broad knowledge of history and the humanities to comb the archives to illustrate documentary films.


Diego Lopez is a second-generation Latino-American born to Mexican and Guatemalan parents. He graduated with honors from Colombia College Chicago in May 2006. He began his career as the assistant editor for local and national cable shows. He moved on to be the lead editor for his first full-length documentary - Immigrant Nation! The Battle for the Dream. He also edited a short film that will screen at this year's Cannes festival. Currently, he is editing a feature-length documentary which will expose the rotten history and tragic present of the banana companies Dole and Chiquita in Central and South America.


Andrew Friend Andrew Friend is an Emmy-nominated videographer whose work has appeared on PBS and other Chicago television stations. He worked camera on the upcoming documentary film Immigrant Nation!. Friend has produced several half-hour episodes for the non-profit, pro-union TV show Labor Beat, and serves as chairman of its board. His new film, "Workers’ Republic," which documents the December 2008 factory occupation of Republic Windows and Doors by its laid-off employees, is currently in post-production.


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