First-Time Directors Competition

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Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti is one of Cuba’s leading contemporary film and theatre directors. He began his career creating children's television programs, for which he won six Caracol awards from the Cuban National Union of Writers and Artists. Cremata has travelled to over 45 countries throughout his career, presenting his films, giving artist talks and leading workshops. In 1996, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent a year working in New York City. Cremata has directed four feature-length narrative films: Nada+ (2001), Viva Cuba (2005), The Skimpy Prize (2009) and Chamaco (2011). For his work, he has won over 54 international prizes.


Carmen Aguirre is a Vancouver-based theatre artist, writer and screen actor. She has over sixty film, television and stage acting credits, including for the award-winning Quinceañera (2006). She has written and co-written twenty plays, including The Trigger, The Refugee Hotel and Blue Box. Her work has been nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award, four Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and the prestigious Siminovitch Prize. She was the recipient of the 2011 Union of B.C. Performers' Woman of Distinction Award. Her first book, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter won CBC Canada Reads 2012 and is a #1 National Bestseller.


María de Lourdes García Rivera has over 25 years of experience as a film producer. She is the founder of Astillero Producciones in Mexico and Astillero Films in Canada. Astillero, one of the most successful production companies in Mexico, has launched four films in just six years: Hidalgo: The Untold Story, Teo’s Trip, Morelos, and most recently, Perfect Obedience, which is one of the most highly anticipated Mexican films of the year. Currently Lourdes is developing two new film projects: Lycra, which will be filmed in Mexico in 2014 and Lucien, which will be filmed in Canada and Mexico in 2015.


Ciro Guerra is a Colombian film director who has written and directed two multiple award-winning feature-length films, The Wandering Shadows (2004) and The Wind Journeys (2009), which have been part of the official selection of more than 160 film festivals worldwide, including Cannes, Toronto, San Sebastián, Rotterdam, Locarno, London, Hong Kong, Havana and Jerusalem. Both of these films served as Colombia’s official entry to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, and had commercial release in 17 different countries. The Wind Journeys was the Opening Night Film at the 2010 Vancouver Latin American Film Festival