Photo by Brenda Cantu in Venice, CA.
I could pretend that someone else is 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. 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 twelve years, I have worked freelance for production companies in Uruguay, Mexico, Ecuador, Canada, and the USA. In 2010, I started in the advertising production industry in the camera department and, since 2013, I have been focusing on storytelling. In 2023, I worked as a line producer for the first Netflix Uruguayan original documentary and another one for Vix that soon will be released. In 2022, I worked mostly as the production manager for a documentary series about marine wildlife conservation in the Gulf of California, which will be released this year on Arte Channel in Europe. That same year, I received the Jackson Wild Media Lab Fellowship to travel to Austria to participate in an intensive workshop that brings scientists and media creators together to develop practical tools to communicate about science, nature, and conservation. Yes! I am all about beautiful landscapes and animals!
I believe that life is too short just to sit and wait for someone else to give you an opportunity. That is why I like to take the bull by the horns and I have been directing/producing my own projects as well. I created my first production company in the USA, Proxima Centauri Films, and I directed 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, premiered at the Charlotte Film Festival in North Carolina, and 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 for six years performing arts and, since I am a tiny bit of a nerd, I got several scholarships along the way.
In 2020, I got another Jackson Wild Fellowship for my next wildlife conservation directing project about illegal fishing in Uruguay (still in development). 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 for a master’s degree in the U.S. and I also received a tuition award from 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 Uruguayan Youth Representative of the Red Vanguardia Internacional and I went to Paraguay with 100 young people from America, Portugal, and Spain. Together, we created a recommendation document for our Presidents at the Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State. 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. Yes! I like to study hard in order to use the system in my favor: mostly for free trips and cool experiences.
I deeply care about social issues as well. For instance, for my bachelor’s thesis, I investigated the level of access that blind and deaf people have to the media. Consequently, I directed the first film festival for blind and deaf people in Uruguay. As a director, not only did I coordinate the translation of Uruguayan movies with sign language, descriptive 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. For this project, we got the Uruguayan Film Commission's Fund for Local Cinema Exhibitions to cover the costs; and one year later, I was hired to do the same in an international film festival in Mexico, CinemaFest. Since then, I am the Director of the Okurelo organization, so I continue translating movies and I provide consultancy services to others 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 a TikTok video 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 the documentary Food Inc, in 2012, about the ugly truths hidden inside the food production system and the cruelty of animals, 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 thirty-two 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.