Susana Demaestri is a a Neuron-linguistic researcher with more than 35 years experience teaching Spanish and Portuguese as a second language. She has been writing comments and evaluations for “Cinemateca” for over 10 years. Susana has been part of cultural entities such as the Latin American Council at the SDMA as a co-chair, programs chair and member at large since 2005. She has continuously supported Media Arts and the great SDLFF.
Miguel Rodriguez is the founder and Executive Director of the Horrible Imaginings, the largest genre film festival south of Los Angeles. He is also a film curator and programmer for San Diego Latino Film Festival and The Film Geeks San Diego. He has been a panel programmer, moderator, and panelist for countless events, including San Diego Comic Con, Art House Convergence, FilmEX, Chattanooga Film Festival, and FilmQuest.
Samuel Bandeira is a games producer and screenwriter, with credits given both in feature and short formats. An avid lover of animation, horror, and musicals, Samuel looks for originality in movies, whether technically or plot-wise. ‘It’s true there are no new stories told… The secret lies in the novelty in which they are conveyed.’
Kristin Moran, PhD
Kristin Moran is a professor of Communication Studies at the University of San Diego and currently serves as the Associate Dean for Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. She teaches courses in media studies and her current research investigates the shifting strategies of digital delivery and its impact on the creative process with attention to the representation of Latinx characters and narrative strategies.
Kristal Bivona, PhD
Kristal Bivona is the Associate Director of the Behner Stiefel Center for Brazilian Studies at San Diego State University where she also teaches. She holds a PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from UCLA and a masters degree in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College. Her current book project looks at transitional justice in post-dictatorship cinema and the cultural policies that impacted national cinema industries during the democratic transitions in Brazil and the Southern Cone.
Julia Medina, PhD
Julia Medina is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of San Diego. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Davis, where she specialized in 19th and 20th Century Latin American Literature, with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. Her research focuses on visual culture, ecocriticism and non-fiction in Nicaragua and Central America. She is the author of articles that deal with (political) manifestoes, prologues, travel narratives, chronicles, testimonio, photographic images, cartoons, public monuments, and film. Medina is from Nicaragua and moved to Northern California in the mid 80s.
Cuauhtémoc Ruelas is a film critic. His books “Tijuana, La Esquina del Cine Vol 1 and 2: Interviews, reports and reviews about the cinematographic panorama in the border city” were selected within the 2016 editorial collection of the Tijuana Cultural Center and ILCSA publishing house, respectively. He has a diploma in Cultural Journalism from the Autonomous University of Baja California in collaboration with the Tijuana Cultural Center. He currently collaborates in the Suplemento Cultural Identidad in the Mexican newspaper, and participates in the radio programs Harry Al Aire on Globo FM 99.3 and every Thursday on IMER 102.5 FM. He has been part of the Selection Committee of the San Diego Latino Film Festival since 2016.
Luis Alberto Quintana
Luis A. Quintana is a Senior Data Scientist working as a private consultant in Washington, DC. He earned a masters in Data Analytics at Johns Hopkins University, where he specialized in data visualization and communications. Luis is an avid painter, trained in portraiture and landscape in his home country, Venezuela. A film enthusiast, Luis acquired a profound appreciation for media arts while obtaining a bachelor in International Relations and Latin American studies at the George Washington University. He is a devoted patron of the arts and has been attending the AFI Latin American Film Festival in Washington DC for nearly a decade. Luis is particularly drawn to films that give a voice to often underrepresented groups such as LGBTQ+ stories and the stories of immigrants forced to flee their countries.
Janelle Iglesias, MFA
Born and raised in Queens, NYC, Janelle Iglesias is an artist invested in the histories, poetics, and agency of objects. Ranging from simple displays to complex constellations, her work often explores our complicated and commodified relationship to nature. After studying Cultural Anthropology, she earned her MFA in Sculpture from VCU and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Iglesias has created site-sensitive projects for SculptureCenter, The Queens Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, and MCASD, among others. In addition to her individual practice, she maintains a project-based collaboration with her sister, Lisa, as Las Hermanas Iglesias, which incorporates a variety of relationships and structures for collectivity. Janelle is an Assistant Professor of Studio in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California San Diego.
Michael Caro has enjoyed the San Diego Latino Film Festival for many years. He is excited to be part of the selection process! Michael is passionate about giving back to the community. A Veteran of the US Navy and the California Air National Guard, Michael is the San Diego Regional Manager of Assistance for Veterans (AFV) , a nonprofit whose mission is to deliver food to in need veterans in San Diego.
Geneva Gámez joins our selection committee for the third time. As a film enthusiast and native San Diegan, she has supported the San Diego Latino Film Festival over the years while working as a tv producer at Univision San Diego and writer at La Prensa San Diego. Currently, she is a senior publicist at Scatena Daniels Communications and continues to show support for independent films.
Sophia A. Schultz
Sophia A. Schultz is the Director of International Programs at the cultural heritage nonprofit ARCH International, and sits on the Board of the group Unfreeze Afghanistan. Her journey into a career in cultural heritage began with her interest in contemporary art and the Middle East. After studying Cultural Sciences at the European University Viadrina close to Berlin, she began publishing in art catalogues and worked on art and film projects. Before moving to Washington D.C., Sophia was a Berlinale regular and her Master thesis at SOAS, University of London focused on the international film festival circuit and New Iranian Cinema. Sophia has worked on film projects with artist Kajsa Dahlberg (Reach, Grasp, Move, Position, Apply Force 2015, 00:40:50, 720p50, color, sound) and artist Shahram Entekhabi (My Mother – The History of Iran 2015, 01:18:30, 1080i50, color, sound.)
Angela Peralta is currently a film production student in her senior year at California State University Northridge. She transferred from San Diego State University where she studied for 3 years and focused in Television, Film and New Media with an emphasis in Critical Studies. Angela was born in Tijuana, Mexico and raised by the San Diego-Tijuana border for the majority of her life. She studied in Tijuana for 18 years and graduated from high school with an International Baccalaureate (IB) Bilingual Diploma. Previously, Angela did a past internship at the Media Arts Center San Diego for the 27th San Diego Latino Film Festival in early 2020. Currently she is doing an internship at the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) where she supports the programming and logistics department.
Rubén Ortiz-Torres, MFA
Ruben Ortiz-Torres was born in Mexico City in 1964. Educated within the utopian models of republican Spanish anarchism soon confronted the tragedies and cultural clashes of post colonial third world. Being the son of a couple of Latin American folklore musicians he soon identified more with the noises of urban punk music. After giving up the dream of playing baseball in the major leagues, and some architecture training (Harvard Graduate School of Design) he decided to study art. He went first to the oldest and one of the most academic art schools of the Americas (the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City) and later to one of the newest and more experimental (Calarts in Valencia CA). After enduring Mexico City’s earthquake and pollution he moved to Los Angeles with a Fullbright grant to survive riots, fires, floods, more earthquakes, and proposition 187. During all this he has been able to produce artwork in the form of paintings, photographs, objects, installations, videos, films, customized machines, curatorial projects and even an opera. He is part of the permanent Faculty of the University of California in San Diego. He has participated in several international exhibitions and film festivals. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Artpace in San Antonio, the California Museum of Photography in Riverside CA, the Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid Spain among others.
After showing his work and teaching art around the world, he now realizes that his dad’s music was in fact better than most rock’n roll.
Ana Fuentes is a Property Manager and aspiring Real Estate Investor in the Washington, DC area. She is a nature lover and passionate about empowering the youth in self-growth, motivation and entrepreneurship by raising awareness through holistic practices. Her appreciation for cinema began a few decades ago volunteering at Filmfest DC and continuing the support as a devoted patron of AFI’s Latin American Film Festival for the past ten years in a row. She is honored to be a part of the 2022 San Diego Latino Film Festival Selection Committee. Ana was born in El Salvador, raised in DC and feels grateful to live in a city with such diverse exposure to art and culture.
Luis Martinez is a Colombian/Uruguayan filmmaker who grew up moving around all of South America, New York and the US due to being a child of divorce. The simple act of going to the movies played a major role in his upbringing as it became a way to connect with his parents and create lasting memories. This birthed his desire to be part of the collaborative art of filmmaking. He has made 2 features as well as a dozen short films as well as other content geared for new filmmakers thru his 2AMBurrito production company and also creates content geared towards new filmmakers thru his Ed Wood Film School brand. He also hosts the Fireside Chats with Big Chief Burrito podcast and is honored to be a guest curator for this year’s festival with his focus being on engaging with new LatinX filmmakers as well as finding comedies that showcase the LatinX experience.
Maria Elena Delgado
Luna, aka Mariaelena, Delgado, is an Educator, Educational Counselor, and President of Luna Consulting and Coaching. She has been on the San Diego Latino Screening committee for 13 years now and loves being a part of selecting films for the festival. She has been interested in film since a very young age and actually preferred watching black and white films over those in color. She is a proud cinephile and loves independent films and almost all genres of film. She prefers watching them on the big screen over home viewing and having the total experience that only a theater can provide.
Danny Soley holds a BA in foreign languages at Eastern Washington University. Her MBA focus is in global management from University of Phoenix. Her love for movies started in her childhood. She began attending the SDLFF about 20 years ago, every single year. This, after watching all the foreign films and movies she could get her hands on. She learned to read subtitles and keep up with the story.. Her uncle showed her how to appreciate movie soundtracks (Pink Panther, Jaws, etc), and she fell in love with the story behind the music. What was done in black and white is pure magic! She has supported the SDLFF in more than one way over the years, but being on the selection committee is an absolute honor.