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“Michoacan to Michigan” Documentary

DAFT supports independent filmmaker Len Radjewski in his efforts to fund this exciting project.  Please consider making a donation to this worthy project.  Your contributions are tax-deductible with DAFT acting as fiduciary.

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In partnership with DAFT, Michoacán to Michigan premiered at the DIA's Detroit Film Theatre on Sunday, October 13.  It was a tremendous success with over 1,000 attendees filling the theatre to capacity.  After the screening, the Mexican Consul to Detroit, Sr. Fernando Gonzalez Saiffe addressed the audience.  And a Q & A with the team that produced the documentary was held.  Several audience members related their own moving family stories.

We would appreciate additional donations to help with distribution costs to help us tell our story with as many people/audiences as possible.  Donations can be made through DAFT

For more information about the Michoacán to Michigan project/documentary or to inquire about additional screenings for your organization, please contact Len Radjewski -"

From Alan Stamm (audience member at premiere)

My wife and I enjoyed your masterful, moving documentary on Sunday afternoon, and are deeply inspired by the resilience and legacies of Martina and Valeriano.

Thanks for sharing your family’s pride with a wider audience. The film is a gripping narrative with impressive production values, and we salute your achievement.

As a first-generation American son of German refugees who came to New York after World War II, I see your family’s heroes as embodying traits shared by all matriarchs and patriarchs in any immigrant family – vision, bravery, strength and an indefatigable spirit. They represent the best of America.

The two Fraga pioneers strengthened our country and still do, through the rich ‘n full generations with hundreds of descendants.

What a timely reminder of that basic truth, which should be obvious to all. Hard work, skills, integrity and gratitude are what immigrants bring, and your family’s resonant story is universal indeed.

The gifts of immigration clearly flow two ways – enriching our country, along with each family that thrives amid freedom and opportunity.

"Michoacan to Michigan"

Len Radjewski, Producer

Michoacan to Michigan (1994) is a 45 minute documentary that tells the story of Valeriano & Martina Fraga’s journey from Morelia, Michoacan to Michigan.  They left during the Mexican Revolution and entered the US in 1919; 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of their crossing. The documentary uses audio recordings (both Spanish & English) of Martina & Valeriano telling their own story and is interspersed with onscreen segments of two of their sons  (Martin and Dan) continuing the narrative, as well as voice-over narration provided by additional relatives (grandchildren Anthony Fraga and Annemarie Valdez).

To mark the centennial anniversary, I am revising and updating the original documentary.  We are in discussions with the Detroit Institute of Art to screen the work in the lecture hall, tentatively considering Spring 2019.  The event will be open to the public and may be promoted along with other DIA programs.

Part of the updating will be to address some copyright issues.  The original work was primarily for family and friends and did not have the budget to pay for some historical film footage of the Mexican Revolution that was in the original.  So I will be soliciting financial support to provide for acquisition of footage. In addition, I have located a number of collections of historic and archived photos of that time period and can be used with the appropriate citation.  We will be updating some of the photos, computer graphics and sub titles.

Images from the Film

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