Short Films Competition
José Luis Ridoutt Polar
Filmmaker, filmmaker, distributor and programmer, José Ridoutt Polar was born in Lima, Peru, in 1965. He traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1983, where he studied screenwriting, direction and film aesthetics workshops before moving to Toronto, Canada in 1987. He was a programmer for the Hispanic Film Festival in Toronto until 1997 and from that date he has been working as a film critic in the newspaper La Portada in Toronto. In 1997, after the creation of Detour Films, Ridoutt Polar began to focus more on film distribution, production and direction, alternating their stays in the cities of Lima and Toronto to distribute author films and direct several making-ofs of Peruvian films as well as a documentary feature film about the cinema of Francisco Lombardi. Since 2004, he is a member of the programming committee of the Lima Film Festival, focusing on curatorships on national cinematographies and programming a cycle of the best of international cinema.
Dunja Fehimovic is a professor of Hispanic studies at the University of Newcastle (United Kingdom) and researcher of Caribbean cinema. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2016, where she wrote a doctoral thesis on contemporary Cuban cinema that was published in 2018 under the title National Identity in 21st-century Cuban Cinema: Screening the Repeating Island. In addition to her interest in national identity, she has also worked with concepts of nation brand and soft power in relation to cinema; The book she edited with her colleague Rebecca Ogden, entitled Branding Latin America: Strategies, Aims, Resistance investigates the difficult and complicated relationship between cultural production and brands, advertising, and public diplomacy. Dunja is currently developing a comparative project on Caribbean cinemas guided by the theories of ‘Relationship’ (Édouard Glissant, Martinique) and ‘the island that repeats’ (Antonio Benítez Rojo, Cuba); crossing linguistic barriers, she wants to investigate not only the formal and thematic characteristics shared by the region’s cinematographies but also the operation of the film industries, the obstacles they face, and the practices that filmmakers use to take out forward local production. In addition to editing the annual issue of the Hispanic Research Journal dedicated to film arts and contributing to academic publications such as Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinemas and the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, she has scheduled public activities on Caribbean cultures (eg. Caribbean Carnival Cultures, July 2019) and special screenings of films from and about the region in cinemas of its adopted city of Newcastle.
Ira Fronten starts her modeling career in Venezuela and a year later she moves to Argentina to study theater, debuting as VJ of Much Music, a famous MTV competitor. Once in Argentina she films her first film called Frontera Sur, a film co-produced between Spain, Argentina, France and Germany, directed and produced by Gerardo Herrero. She alternates her work as an actress with the activity of television presenter for the television network El Gourmet, later becoming the culinary and cultural correspondent of that channel from Colombia. Ira moved to Colombia in 2001 and is chosen to play the role co-star of Usnavi in the novel Amor A la Plancha and to present the exclusive queens night, Miss Colombia. In Italy she acts for the first time in the Italian language in the Due Mamme di Troppo series, directed by Antonello Grimaldi for Mediaset Canale 5, successively participating in several television series for Rai 1, such as Don Matteo, Un Passo dal Cielo, and E ‘Arrivata Congratulations. In 2016 she debuted in the Italian cinema with the film Il Minister directed by Giorgio Amato. Her most recent cinematographic works are the film Bar Joseph by director Julio Base and Salto de los Ángeles. She currently promotes social campaigns in favor of Afro-descendants, for the equality of black actors in Italian cinema, for highlighting the values of Afro people in Venezuela through the Afro Encounter of Guayana, and in favor of South American women in Italy. She is the creator and artistic director of the Italian Black Movie Award.
Dominican, audiovisual producer, film commentator and actress of the Stanislavski method. In cinema she has experience in both short films and feature films, having produced more than eight short films. Some of these, such as “December is coming”, “Two drops of water” and “Gabriel” have had a presence in important national and international short film festivals. Among the Dominican feature films she has worked on are: “Duarte, Traición y Gloria”, “Girasol”, “Verdad o Reto”, “La Fiera y la Fiesta”, “La Rasante” and “La Oferta”. For 12 years she worked with the volunteer team of the Santo Domingo International Film Show. For two years she produced and directed the cinema section in the radio programs Ponte al Neon 89.3FM and Entre Nos Radio Show of Radio Funglode. Guerrero currently collaborates with the film portals cinedominicano.com and cocalecas.net. He has also been part of several film festivals, as curator, jury, speaker and staff, functions that have helped enrich the industry experience.
Mary Leonard is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez University Campus, and is the founder and director of the Certificate in Cinema, a curricular sequence in cinema. Leonard teaches courses in history and film theory. Graduates of her program have continued their studies in film at a graduate level in programs such as those of the American Film Institute, New York University, Columbia University, Texas University – Austin, and the International School of Film and Television of Cuba, and work in film in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Puerto Rico. She conceived and directed the Puerto Rico tour of Textos Tuertos, a performance of micro stories juxtaposed with images and read by their authors: Hugo Ríos and Rita Indiana (2004). Mary conceived and directed two multidisciplinary symposiums on visual narration at the UPRM: Optika (2005) and Optika II (2007). She has published articles about cinema in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Venezuela. She also writes about literature, media, and cultural issues. Among her writings is the essay “René Fortunato: Demystifying Trujillo” and “Wind, Water, Women: Liminal Spaces and Border Crossings Between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic,” this latest article published in 2019 in Black Camera in a section from the magazine entitled “Caribbean Cinema as Cross-Border Dialogue”.
Virginia Pablos (Spain, 1979). Bachelor in Audiovisual Communication and specialized with a master in Film Direction: Digital Production and Composition. Currently Director of the Amsterdam Spanish Film Festival (Amsterdam Spanish Film Festival). With experience in programming for institutions such as Barbican Art Center, Tate Gallery in London, Rijksmuseum, Eye Filmuseum, Instituto Cervantes, Hackney Picturehouse, as well as in different international film festivals in London such as Latin America Film Festival; BEV (Birds Eye View) Festival and London Spanish Film Festival, among others. From audiovisual creation, through programming, to cultural management in different London cultural groups and centers, such as the emerging Rotoreliefs platform, the iconic Roundhouse room and the vibrant Rich Mix cultural center. Virginia decides to embark on a new adventure by founding in 2011 Sin Fin Cinema, a multidisciplinary organization with the clear intention of promoting Spanish-speaking cinematography on the international circuit, mainly in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, through which it directs and programs each Year the Amsterdam Spanish Film Festival. She is currently preparing the VI edition of the festival, which also reaches cities such as The Hague and Rotterdam.
Opera Prima Documentary “Fernando Baez” Competition
Javier Espada was born in Calanda, designed the contents of the permanent exhibition of the Buñuel de Calanda Center (CBC), a museum dedicated to the Aragonese filmmaker Luis Buñuel, a Center he has directed from its creation in 2000 to 2016. He has created the International Festival de Cine conceived as a cinematic tribute to Luis Buñuel in his homeland, and has directed it for 10 editions. He has also participated, since its creation, in the Zaragoza Ecozine Festival, supporting the environmental commitment through the capacity of diffusion and awareness of the cinema. He has curated multiple exhibitions related to Buñuel and the cinema and has collaborated, among others, with the University of Alcalá and the State Society of Cultural Commemorations (SECC) in the organization of the International Congress and the exhibition: Buñuel. An Andalusian dog 80 years and the Externado University of Colombia at the Symposium of: Cinema, imagined places and tourism.
Johanné Gómez Terrero
Johanné Gómez Terrero, artist graduated from the International School of Film and TV of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba; and of the School of Cinema and Audiovisual of Catalonia. Johanné graduated from EICTV with the award-winning short film “Los Minutos Las Horas”, Official Selection in Cinefoundation of the Cannes International Festival. Among her most recent works is “Caribbean Fantasy” (2016), a documentary made with the support of Sparring Partners through ACP and ACP Cultures, winner of several awards, some of them: La Silla in Dominican Republic, the Coral del Festival del Nuevo Latin American Cinema of Havana; Cinepoeme at DOCMX and a special mention of the Jury at Miradas Doc in Tenerife. Her previous documentary, “Under the Tents” (2014), won the Identity Award at the Festival of Memory in Mexico and participant of the DocuLab at the Guadalajara Festival. Decoloniality and peripheries are latent themes in her work.
Elsa Turull de Alma
Achieving that our productions can be seen outside our lands is the main contribution of the productions headed by Elsa Turull de Alma as a producer conquering places such as: Guadalajara, Barcelona, Madrid, Bogotá, Poland, Transylvania, Freiburg, Taipei, Busan, Buenos Aires , Singapore, Cannes, Santiago, Chile, Montreal, Jerevan, Nazareth, New York, Los Angeles and Miami participating with their films in important festivals and commercial premieres in art theaters. Graduate of Business at INTEC (1997) after doing a professional career in public and private institutions since 2013, she is Executive Vice President of the LARIMAR film production house group established following the implementation of the tax incentive law in the film industry in the Dominican Republic. Her contributions to Dominican cinema are under the titles: “Camino a Higüey”, “Who Commands?”, “The Super”, “South of Innocence”, “Peace Code”, “Yesterday, Today and Forever”, “Tati”, “The Art of Faith”, “Resilience”, “In Your Skin”, ” Flor ”and“ The Strategy of the Grouper ”, the latter assuming its first international co-production with Brazil, Puerto Rico and Colombia with brand new purposes in 2020.
Violeta Lockhart (1989, Santo Domingo) is a violinist with a Mass Media bachelor degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). She started her audiovisual background in 2009 when she took the course in Cinema and TV production Primera Toma with the support of One Race Films, New York University and FUNGLODE. She has taken advanced courses in scriptwriting with José Ignacio Valenzuela and Actors’ direction with Corina Mestre and Benito Zambrano. In 2012 she was selected for the first Master Class for young filmmakers with the support from Google y Ghetto Film School, taught by Spike Jonze. She has written and directed several short films like Cara // Escudo (2010), Seis Palabras (2011), No voy a fregar (2012), Rosa (2013) and Lo Que Pudo Haber Sido (2016). Most of them shown in dozens of international festivals. In 2012 she was casting director of Bladimir Abud’s film “Los Super”. She has a masters degree in screenwriting from the University of Seville, Spain, and a Masters degree in film direction, from ESCAC in Barcelona. At the time she is teaching cinema at INTEC in Santo Domingo, while developing her first feature project.
Joan Prats (Santo Domingo, 1977) is a writer and journalist with more than 10 years of experience in the areas of journalism and creative writing. He was a copywriter and creative in various advertising agencies and has worked as a journalist for the newspaper El Caribe and the magazine Vida Universitaria y Mercado. He was also part of the Estilos magazine team before working as editor of the cultural section of the digital newspaper 7dias.com.do and then as Communication, Public Relations and Advertising coordinator for the Cinemateca Dominicana. Joan Prats is the author of the novel “The finger of reality greets me” and the humor columns The Side B (7dias.com.do, 2013-2014) and Spin-Off (magazine Styles, 2009-2012). He is also the creator of www.loquemeentretiene.com, a blog dedicated to stories connecting with the author, regardless of what medium, gender or discipline they belong to. He currently serves as a journalist for the magazine Estilos and the Tiempo Libre section of the Diario Libre newspaper, as well as dealing with the topic of cinema in the “I saw it” column and the videos “Spin-Off with Joan Prats” for the Diario newspaper Free.
Lester Rivé (Puerto Rico) has more than 13 years of experience as a video editor and is currently a professor at the Free School of Music in Mayaguez of Cinema, Radio and Television. He has been director of the International Focus Film Festival for 10 years, where in 2018 more than 65 countries participated with more than 1,300 films and short films submitted. Enfoque’s vision is to present feature films and short films that contribute positively to the welfare of this society. Enfoque is the first and only festival in Latin America that contributes and promotes the well-being of people through the power of cinematography.
Opera Prima Fiction Competition
Anna Marie de la Fuente
Chief Latin America Writer, VARIETY. Based in Los Angeles, De La Fuente began her career in journalism while living in Madrid where she was the Spanish Bureau Chief for the Hollywood Reporter. She moved to Los Angeles in the mid-90s where she became a freelance media writer contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Variety Deal Memo, Billboard and Broadcast among others. She was later appointed Latin America Bureau Chief for London-based trade Screen International where she covered the Latin American entertainment industry until she joined Variety. She has served as a juror in multiple international film festivals, including the festivals of Cartagena (Colombia), Lima (Peru), Cuenca (Ecuador), (Santiago) Chile, Guanajuato (Mexico) and Palm Springs, U.S.
Award-winning filmmaker Argen-Mex who has divided his life between Mexico, Argentina and Tanzania where he worked for 4 years at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF). Before starting to direct films, he was the creator and director of AFRICALA, the first African film festival in Latin America. He was also artistic director for two years of the International Film and Human Rights Festival of Mexico DHFEST, with international guests such as Zenani Mandela, Rithy Panh, Chaz Bono, among others. His first documentary feature “MADE IN BANGKOK” won more than 8 international awards at various international film festivals and came to Netflix. With the support of SAMSUNG, he made the first virtual reality documentary at the Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico. As a conductor at VICE, one of his episodes of his series managed to be the most watched documentary in Spanish. He has served as a jury and advisor at several international film festivals and has taught workshops on markets, programming and strategies at film festivals.
Brando Hidalgo Vargas
Dominican. Psychologist (Technological Institute of Santo Domingo), Professor and Journalist member of the Dominican Association of Cinematographic Press (ADOPRESCI). In charge of Documentation and Programming of the Dominican Cinematheque since the early 80’s, of which he was General Director in 1987. Jury and / or press correspondent since the eighties accredited in various International Film Festivals (San Sebastián, Huelva, New York, Miami, Sao Paulo, Santo Domingo, etc.). Co-founder of CINEASTA magazine and the Cineasta Radio program.
Begoña López Arroyo
Begoña López Arroyo (Seville, 1975). Degree in Journalism from the Universidad Hispalense. After several years in press and television, since 2000 she works in the Communication Area of the Provincial Council of Huelva, where she has her place by opposition. Great connoisseur of the Ibero-American Film Festival of Huelva, where over the past twenty years she has belonged to several jurors, such as the Spanish Radio Exterior and the Huelva Press Association award for best screenplay. “I think that cinema is the best language to understand that, instead of borders that separate, we must create and believe in humanity and the universality of the stories that unite us”.
Screenwriter, Film and Miniseries Project Developer. Author, Director and Film Producer. Her second narrative feature film “Gallo Gallina” has been awarded the Ibermedia co-production to shoot soon. Gallo Gallina has also been selected for the film fund of the government of Guatemala, the Sundance Institute, the MAFF, NALIP Latino Media Market and for the FICCI Producers Meeting. Riedel is the Creator and Director of 24 episodes (English and Spanish) of the series Unknown Medicine and Strange Medicine for FusiónTV and Univisión. Her Opera Prima and narrative feature film and Capsules participated in more than 30 international festivals and received the Grand Cinema, Best Film, Best Edition and Best Art Direction awards. Her artistic works, videoarts and photographs have been exhibited in museums and international art fairs, gaining recognition. She is a mentor of individual projects, and a graduate coach of the MMK institute. Riedel is a teacher and workshop writer and project creation in recognized universities. She has a degree in Communications with a specialty in film and screenplay from the University of California, UCLA and the University of Miami. She studied art at the Anderson Arts Center in Colorado and Journalism at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. www.riedelveronica.com
Deputy director of the programming of the Forum des images in Paris, one of the most important audiovisual institutions in France, Gilles Rousseau has organized, during the last 25 years, several film shows with Latin America (portraits of Buenos Aires, Mexico, Brazilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; focus on Cuba, Columbia or Brazil) and has received numerous directors and actors in master class and discussions, including Alejandro Jodorowsky, Fernando Solanas, Jia Zhangke, Claudia Cardinale, André Téchiné, Marta Rodriguez, Fatih Akin, Golshifteh Farahani, Walter Sales, Ronit Elkabetz, Bruno Dumont, Amat Escalante, Patricia Ayala, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Bertrand Bonello, Karim Aïnou. For eight years he has participated in the professional platform «Cinema under construction» of the Toulouse Cinelatino festival as moderator of the discussions with the film teams (directors and producers). He has participated in numerous festivals as a member of the jury (Mar del Plata in Argentina, Cineramabc in Brazil, Biarritz Amérique Latine festival, Cinelatino and Colombian Film Week in France).
Joan Sala has a degree in Humanities and Audiovisual Communication and a Diploma in Advertising. In 2008 he became part of the prestigious independent film distributor Cameo as content editor. A year later, he became an editor at Filmin, the reference portal for independent cinema in Spain, with more than 350,000 users. The project has gained enormous recognition, winning among others the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona, the Premi Sant Jordi or the Time Out Award as the most innovative company in the country. He currently serves as Curator and Editor Manager. In 2010, Filmin created Atlántida Film Fest, of which Joan is a programmer. This is the first film festival that offers all its programming entirely on the Internet. His sixth edition exceeded 140,000 viewers, and the quality of programming and innovative aspects of his proposal led him to be named by the ICAA as one of the ten best feature film festivals in Spain. Added to this, it annually covers the main European festivals, such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, San Sebastián or Sitges. He has also worked as a guest speaker in networkings at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, DocsBarcelona, JamesonNotodoFilmFest or as a jury at the Another Way Film Festival in Madrid or the International Fiction Festival for Television ZOOM in Barcelona.
Charles Tesson has been artistic director of Critics’ Week in Cannes since 2012. In 2016 he was appointed president of Cinémas du Monde (CNC-French Institute). He has written film criticism for Cahiers du cinéma (1979-2013) and was editor of the magazine from 1998 to 2003. He is also a professor of film, history and aesthetics at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris III). He is the author of numerous books and essays on films, such as Satyajit Ray (1992), Luis Buñuel (1995), He by Luis Buñuel (1996), Photogénie de la Série B (1997), Théâtre et cinéma (2007) and Akira Kurosawa (2008). He has directed several special editions of Cahiers du cinéma, such as “Made in Hong Kong” (1984) with Olivier Assayas, and “Made in China” (1999), he also co-edited the book L’Asie à Hollywood (2001).