2022-2023 LFI INCLUSION FELLOWSHIP

2023fellow AshaChaiChang

Asha Chai-Chang

Award winning writer/director and Emmy nominated producer. As an Afro-Latina and Caribbean-Asian American with disabilities, Asha is a stigma disruptor, a Yale graduate and a former finance professional. Her films “Spoiler Alert” and “All by Design”, have been recognized by Oscar-qualifying film festivals and the NAACP. Asha is creating a preschool animated Spanish bilingual TV series, “Wendy on Wheels”, and the fantasy teen comedy, “Harlequin Heights”. She serves as co-founder, co-captain, and Juror for the Academy Award qualifying Unstoppable program at Slamdance Film Festival and has been interviewed by publications including Variety, Hollywood Reporter, and Forbes.

Title of Project: Marque Dos
2023fellow CynthiaGarciaWillliams

Cynthia Garcia Williams

California native born to a mother from Matanzas, Cuba, and a father from Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2021, Cynthia made her directorial debut with “Dukkha”, created as part of the Women of Color Filmmakers Directors Lab, now making its way through the festival circuit, winning several awards. Her second short, “Bilongo”, is an Afro-Cuban folk story, winner of awards such as the Audience Choice Award and Best Supernatural Film. Throughout 2022, Cynthia has worked on close to a dozen films. She is currently in production for “The Bible Thumper and the Bruja”, a dark comedy that ignites the imagination and reveals both the power and the vulnerabilities of humankind.

Title of Project: Legend of El Cucuy
2023fellow GlenisHunter

Glenís Hunter

Originally from New York, Glenís Hunter is a writer/actress based in LA. She is of Dominican, Black and Native American (Shinnecock) descent. Glenís enjoys creating TV pilots and films that celebrate her cultures and speak to social oppression. She was part of LALIFF with her episodic short “Woke”, in 2020.

Title of Project: Super Hair
2023fellow MariaDelMarRosario

María del Mar Rosario

Born in Puerto Rico, in her work as a filmmaker she explores themes at the intersection of gender and colonialism, and the poetics of the female body under realistic, uncanny aesthetics. She graduated with a BA in Film Studies and Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University, and later completed her postgraduate studies in documentary directing at the School of Film and Television in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. Her short films have screened at IDFA, HotDocs, Palms Springs, The French Cinematheque and Metrograph. She also holds an MFA in Media Arts Production from the City University of New York.

Title of Project: Punta Salinas
2023fellow ShennyDeLosAngeles

Shenny De Los Angeles

Dominican-American interdisciplinary performance artist. They centralize Black & Brown Caribbean femmes in her stories. Her short film, “The Ritual to Beauty”, received the Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance and the LOLA Award at the Philadelphia Latinx Film Festival. It is also now available to stream on The New Yorker. They have also been commissioned by The Latinx Playwright Circle, Latina Magazine, and Mabou Mines Theatre. Currently, as an Artist in Residence at Harlem Stage and Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Shenny is exploring ritual performance pieces that integrate spoken word in theatrical and cinematic form.

Title of Project: Sisters by Water
2023fellow ChloeCaudillo

Chloe Caudillo

Mexican-American writer and director and graduate of The Second City Film School. She writes supernatural dramedies that “flip the script” and feature unconventional characters. Her experience as a bicultural woman is infused in her storytelling, and themes of identity and classism are prominent in her work. Her stories often contain elements of comedy, drama, horror, sci-fi, and surrealism. Short films that Chloe has written, directed, and produced have been Official Selections at the Latino Film Market, Portland Film Festival, Chicago International Genre Film Festival, CineSol Film Festival, Official Latino Short Film Festival, Little México Film Festival, Cleveland Concoction, and Brownsville Latino Comics Expo Film Festival.

Title of Project: Development
2023fellow JalmerCaceres

Jalmer Caceres

Writer/director born in El Salvador. After arriving in the US at the age of five and growing up in Los Angeles as a latchkey child, he fell in love with Movies and American Television through countless hours of unsupervised viewing. Jalmer became the first in his family to graduate from college and recently attained his M.F.A. from the American Film Institute. He was a 2021 Diverso Minority Report Screenwriting Fellow, and a 2022 selected writer/director for Lena Waithe’s Executive Produced Season 2, Indeed Rising Voices Program. His film “Empty Bases” debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Title of Project: Worthy
2023fellow LaurenBallesteros

Lauren Ballesteros

Fourth generation Chicana, poet, actor, and writer born in El Monte, CA. Writing, directing, and producing credits include several runs of “Chicanas, Cholas, y Chisme” all women Latinx collective and theater festival at CASA 0101. Lauren is also co-founder of Matriarchy Films, a women of color production trio that focuses on Latinx-BIPOC storytelling, in front of and behind the camera. She wrote and directed her first short film “Token” in 2018. Their latest production, “Confessions to the Moon” is set to premiere in the summer of 2023.

Title of Project: Soy Yo
2023fellow MiguelAngelDuran

Miguel Angel Durán

Award-winning writer/director whose work spans documentaries, films, and branded content. His first feature-length documentary, Unrest, focuses on the tumultuous founding of the first Chicana/o Studies Department in the US. He then directed “The Valley in The Struggle”, narrated by acclaimed actor Jacob Vargas. Recently, he directed “Immigrant Voices of America”, an eight-episode documentary series that won the Jury Award for Best Episodic Documentary from the 2020 Bentonville Film Festival. His feature-length script, Viva el Rock!!, is currently trending on The Black List.

Title of Project: Death in Training
2023fellow SofiaAyerdi

Sofia Ayerdi

Chicana producer, writer and director and alumna of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Gold Rising Program. She is a fellow of Blackmagic Collective, from Blackmagic Design, and was part of the First Frame Initiative for emerging directors. She founded her production company, Zanate Films. Her recent work includes “Taliban Flower”, which aims to destigmatize male vulnerability through the eyes of a Taliban soldier in the 1990s. Most recently, she directed “El Sueño” which tells the story of an immigrant woman farmworker’s fight in the United States.

Title of Project: Na Savi

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