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Filmmaker and Film on Pueblo Bikers featured at CSU-Pueblo

Release Date: August 31, 2015

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director

External Affairs

(719) 549-2810

Press Release

PUEBLO – As part of Hispanic Heritage Month activities, the University Library and Archives at Colorado State University-Pueblo will present filmmaker Barbara Bustillos Cogswell, who will screen her film documentary Pueblo Bikers United at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 12 in the Life Sciences Auditorium (LS105).

The Pueblo Bikers United documentary was shot during the 2000 Rocky Mountain Thunder Rally and documents the ‘infamous’ “Biker vs Cop” football game and Pueblo Bikers United’s  (PBU) longtime dedication to children in need. Founded in 1978, PBU is a non-profit organization that hosts the annual Toy Bowl and Toy Run. PBU’s sole purpose is to provide toys to Pueblo children who may not receive a gift at Christmas.   Over the summer, Cogswell updated interviews during her trips to visit her 97-year old mother and re-edited a new Director’s cut dedicated to her biker brother, Oscar.  

Cogswell recently donated a portion of her TV film footage to the CSU-Pueblo University Archives’ Colorado Chicano Movement Archives, and she will be formally recognized for this important contribution to the history and culture of Chicanos in Colorado.

The event will include a reception at 6 p.m. with light refreshments.  Admission to the event is free, but toys will be gratefully accepted for the PBU Christmas toy drive.  Attendees also may make a donation to help defray Cogswell’s expenses in producing the film. 

Cogswell was born in Pueblo in the early 50’s to Jose and Josefina Bustillos. Her father worked for the steel mill and her mother worked for a potato chip factory.  She attended the neighborhood Mt. Carmel Catholic School and graduated from Centennial High in 1969.  She was the first in her family to attend college at the University of Colorado, Boulder campus on a four-year scholarship provided by the Equal Opportunity Program, the GI Forum veteran’s organization.  She was also mentored by (UMAS) the United Mexican American Student program. 

During the turbulent campus years, Cogswell participated in Viet Nam protests, Cesar Chavez  and the farmworkers for social justice.  She also joined equal rights protests with African American, Native American, as well as the Asian student movements, and so began her life-long journey documenting human rights, via her camera lens.  

She began her media career in the late 80’s as a community producer for the NBC affiliate, KCNC-TV, both as an on-air host for the first bilingual talk show, “Mi Linda Raza.” She later became a producer for “Mosaic,” which aired more than 250 NBC stories about Latino art and culture, business, politics and sports, until 1998. One of Cogswell’s career highlights was working for the Anheuser Busch Corporation as an independent videographer for their marketing and public relations department.  She returned to Pueblo in the late 90’s as a media coordinator for Pueblo Community College, and after being refused service at a convenience store because of her biker dress, she began documenting the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly” of riding a motorcycle on American roads. 

Cogswell was inspired by her older brother, Oscar, who built motorcycles, rode and taught his siblings to ride. More than 15 years of traveling across the country documenting the biker life style, he was also featured by “Split Screens” travel show out of New York and “Tango Films,” a documentary crew, based in Germany.  ​

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