UCLA student Patricia Cardoso took home the dramatic gold medal for "The Water Carrier" in 1996. The film, about an old blind man who undergoes cataract surgery to restore his sight, is based on Cardoso's own grandfather, who performed Colombia's first cataract surgery in the 1920s. She went on to direct "Real Women Have Curves" and has plans to release "The Jane Plan" and "Nappily Ever After." Pictured: (l-r) Patricia Cardoso and America Ferrera
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
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