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VLAFF’s first annual Youth Jury was selected from a city-wide competition open to post-secondary students aged 18 to 30. Interested students applied by submitting a 700-word film critique. The jury members were selected based on the quality of their work, their academic experience, and interest in latin american culture. The youth Jury will select the Youth Choice Award for a Fiction Film at VLAFF 9. we are very excited to welcome this talented group of students to our festival!

Naomi White, 20, with a Jamaican, English and Irish background is a student of Video and integrated media at emily Carr. She has developed critical thinking skills at school and is excited to bring her knowledge to the jury while broadening her outlook.

Maria Camila Arias, 25, from Colombia, graduated from the Vancouver Film School this year. She was also a film student in Colombia and Cuba which has given her a wide experience in production, writing and film theory.

Nicholas Aubichon, 28, is a Métis Canadian and Langara Student interested in Latin American culture and politics. Nicholas as always enjoyed watching films and being part of the Youth Jury is an important step for im towards becoming a journalist.

Victor Borba, 20, from Brazil studies Communications at Simon Fraser University. Since Borba arrived in Vancouver in 2009, he has been following the local arts and culture community. Borba hopes that being part of the youth Jury will help him achieve his career goals.

Arianna Sanelli, 21, is an Italian-Canadian Linguistics student at Langara College. She has a great interest in Latin American culture and the Spanish language. She hopes to travel in South America and learn more about Latin American cultures.

Saki Serizawa was born in Japan but was raised in White Rock, B.C. She is a student at Langara College and is working towards being admitted to the GRS program at UBC. She hopes to continue her explorations of the world and to become fluent in Spanish and French.

Kazue Toma, 21, from Japan is a student at Douglas College. She has been interested in Spanish language and culture for many years and has taken related courses. She feels that Latin American filmmaking usually conveys meaningful messages and would like to better understand Latin American cinema.