Photo by Brenda Cantu in Venice, CA.
I could pretend that there is someone else writing this for me, which seems to make people look “important”, but if there is something that really represents me is honesty, so I’m not going to lie: this is me writing about myself. As you can see, this is freakishly long but, hopefully, you will find it interesting enough to make it to the final period of the page. Just in case you don’t, let me give you a logline:
Uruguayan storyteller that wants to use art as a tool for change, she travels the world working in the audiovisual industry to keep learning; fearless and completely focused, yet too anxious and a little bit stubborn, she is determined to reach her goals despite a plethora of outlandish obstacles.
Now, I invite you to read one possible synopsis of my life. But since, on average, our spam attention is around 9 seconds, let me start from the present to the past, in case you get distracted by the fly that is on your wall.
I am a director, producer, writer, camerawoman, and editor. My two favorite things are playing with cameras and cutting stories. For the last nine years, I have been working freelance for production companies in Uruguay, Mexico, Ecuador, Canada, and in the USA. In 2010, I started in the advertising production industry mainly as a digital manager in the camera department and, since 2013, I have been focusing on storytelling.
I believe that life is too short to just sit and wait for someone else to give you an opportunity, you have to create your own. That is why I like to take the bull by the horns and I have been directing/producing my own projects in the meantime. In 2013, I directed the first film festival for blind and deaf people in Uruguay, Okurelo Cine and, in 2014, I was invited to reproduce it at an international film festival in Mexico, CinemaFest. Then, I created my first production company in the USA, Proxima Centauri Films LLC, and my most recent project is my first feature documentary Trumphobia: what both sides fear. The movie received the Miller/Packan Film Fund from the Rogovy Foundation and the International Documentary Association was the fiscal sponsor. It also received an Impact Docs Award, it has premiered at the Charlotte Film Festival in North Carolina and it has been screened at festivals in Los Angeles, Chicago, Ohio, Canada, and Uruguay. In 2020, Kaleidoscope Film Distribution became the distributor in the UK and Unified Pictures in the USA, and it was released to the public on multiple platforms. Before that, in 2018, my short documentary Exit the Shelter received the Award for Best Film of the Los Angeles Television, Script, and Film Festival, and the Award of Excellence from the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.
I have a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Universidad de Montevideo in Uruguay. Before that, I studied six years of performing arts and, since I am a tiny bit of a nerd, I got several scholarships along the way. The most recent one is the 2020 Jackson Wild Fellowship for my next wildlife conservation project. Before that, in 2015, I got a Fulbright Scholarship (sponsored by The U.S. State Department) that completely covered my life’s expenses for two years to study a master’s degree in the U.S. and I have also received a tuition award by the New York Film Academy during the same period of time. In 2012, I got the Movilidad Mercosur Scholarship (sponsored by the European Union and Mercosur) and I finished my bachelor’s degree at Universidad Nacional de San Juan in Argentina, living there for a whole semester. In 2011, I got selected to be the National Point Focus of the Red Vanguardia Internacional and I went to Paraguay to represent my country
country among 100 young people from America, Portugal, and Spain. Together, we created a recommendation document for our Presidents. In 2010, I got the SUSI Scholarship (also sponsored by the U.S. State Department) and I traveled to the U.S., among sixty other young leaders from Latin-America, to develop our leadership skills. And, finally, from 2009 until I finished my bachelor’s degree I got the Academic Excellence Scholarship (sponsored by Universidad de Montevideo) that covered the tuition.
I deeply care about social and environmental issues, so like I said I want to use art as a tool for change. For my bachelor’s thesis, I investigated the level of access that blind and deaf people have to the media. Consequently, as I mentioned before, I conducted Okurelo Cine, which took place in Life Cinema and in Teatro Solís (the most prestigious theater in Uruguay). As a director, not only I coordinated the adaptation of Uruguayan movies in a way that blind and deaf people could enjoy (with sign language, special subtitles, and audio description), but I also developed inclusive workshops (such as painting for the blind and music for the deaf) and conferences about audiovisual accessibility. Thanks to the fiscal sponsorship of the Fundación Braille del Uruguay, we got the Uruguayan Film Commission's Fund for Local Cinema Exhibitions to cover part of the costs. Currently, I am the CEO of Okurelo Cine, so I continue adapting movies and I provide consultancy services to different organizations in Latin America on how to adapt audiovisual content for blind and deaf people.
I truly believe that a film has the power to make people conscious about certain topics, in a way that, for instance, a newspaper or a book cannot. Take my example: I have eaten meat my entire life, I was even born in Uruguay (a country where there are more cows than people), and all my family members are cow/chicken addicts. But since I watched a documentary, in February of 2012, about the food industry (Food Inc.) and its consequences, I realized that what I had been promoting my entire life was not who I really am. And the images, the music, the interviews, and all were enough for me to never want to eat meat again. So if art changed me, it can change others.
It’s my life so I can keep writing and writing, I have twenty-nine years of traumas, anecdotes, trips, studies, and lucid dreams but, if you would like to know more, we could go for a coffee. Actually, a cup of tea because, honestly, I don’t quite like coffee. Regardless, thanks for making it to the last period.