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Leslie Grace Talks Immigration Doc ‘Translators’ and Working With ‘Jokester’ Peter Dinklage in ‘The Thicket’

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Marc Malkin Senior Film Awards, Events & Lifestyle Editor Leslie Grace has a very personal reason for deciding to become what she calls an “ambassador” for “Translators,” a new documentary short about bilingual Latino children in the U.S.

who become translators for their Spanish-speaking parents. “I’m first generation Dominican American,” the “In the Heights” star tells me. “My grandmother relied on her kids — my mom and her siblings — and then her grandkids.

It’s a very common thing when I see my grandmother that my sister or I or my cousins, we take turns sharing the mail and translating for her.” The doc, directed by Emmy winner Rudy Valdez, highlights several families in which the children help navigate their parents’ lives, from explaining bills that need to be paid to the tremendous worry of having to translate proper medical care for their siblings. “I’m really excited for people that haven’t had this experience to be able to witness it through the doc,” Grace says. “Also there may be some assumptions and misconceptions that you might have about someone who doesn’t speak a language or even speaks English with an accent.” “Translators” premieres at Tribeca Festival on June 13 at the Roxy Hotel in New York City.

Grace will be on hand to introduce the film. It was also be available to view for free starting June 14 at translatorsfilm.com. Was there a moment when you realized your grandmother didn’t speak English and you’d have to translate for her? There’s not a specific memory, but just an awareness.

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