Carmen Henríquez
Board President

Carmen Henríquez is a Chilean-born filmmaker and television producer. She is the co-creator of multiple APTN series, including Closer To Home, Native Planet, and Power to the People, and the director of the award-winning feature documentaries, Searching for Pinochet and Cry of the Andes. 

Carmen, along with business partner Denis Paquette, founded RealWorld Media and Films in 1996, and they have been producing content for big and small screens ever since. Carmen lives in Vancouver, Canada with her daughter, the amazing Celina Drysdale Henríquez.

Power to the People, her latest project with RealWorld Media, which she co-directed and edited, is a weekly television documentary that explores the renewable energy revolution empowering Indigenous communities across Canada and around the world. From revolutionary wind farms, solar power plants, run of river hydroelectric projects and tidal energy initiatives, host Melina Laboucan Massimo explores the challenges, simp

Sidartha Murjani

I started in social work before graduating with a degree in economics and then started my own business in Web design. I was always driven to create something with a purpose, something that brings value to people watching or experiencing it. That is when I decided to first pursue acting and then writing and directing followed shortly after.

Being someone who i would say is a hybrid culturally in my thinking, i believe the visual media especially film is one of the most powerful forms of media in today’s world. It can change the audiences emotionally, consciously and way of thinking. That is why i want to make or be in projects that celebrate or give the feeling of joy, love, collaboration, kindness, friendships.

Sidartha Murjani is known for Legion (2017), The-Interview (2018), Menage (2016), The Switch (2016).

René Quijada 

I’ve been working with charitable organizations for the past 20 years, which has given me the opportunity to make a positive impact by spreading awareness of the organization’s cause and helping the organizations run more efficiently as possible. With 25 years of experience in Marketing, Advertising and Sponsorship Development. I’m a motivational leader who has built skilled branding teams to help clients identify their differentiating value and leverage it to tell a story.

I’ve worked side by side building VLAFF from the beginning stages of the festival from the 3rd to 8th edition and from the 12th to 15th anniversary, I helped shape and establish their current brand strategy, fundraising goals, sponsorship package as well building all their print collateral, web presence and ad campaigns. 

Elvia Pinilla

Originally from Colombia, Elvia has lived in lovely Vancouver for 13 years now. She is an Industrial Engineer who worked in the beginning in logistics and Quality Control as an engineer but then decided that her passion was in marketing. She did a specialization in marketing in Colombia and then an MBA in Australia. She has worked in several industries including, Chemical, Market Research, Banking, Publishing and now in the educational industry in Canada.

Since she moved to Vancouver back in 2009, she has always been involved with Latin culture. She has been a volunteer for several years supporting organizations like Latincouver, Brazilian Association among others.  She has volunteered for several years supporting Carnaval del Sol in Vancouver. She has also been a media supporter with her Facebook channel Elvia y Pachi and Elviatalks by interviewing people and exalting their efforts to the Latin community. She is a mother of two who loves all sports, the gym and dancing.

Xóchitl Gabriela Esquivel

Xóchitl Gabriela Esquivel is a passionate cinephile with a long history of supporting arts organizations. She has worked with The San Francisco International Oceans Film Festival and the San Francisco International Film Festival. At SFFILM she worked closely with the Artist Development department, reviewing and recommending film projects for grant funds. 

Originally from México, she has lived in Texas and California before relocating to Vancouver, where she volunteered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in the media and press department. Xóchitl currently curates, programs and hosts the radio show No Hay Banda!, a biweekly show about film music.

Julia M. Hodgins

Community builder. I support causes both on event-basis and ongoing duties, prioritizing latinamerican cultural promotion. I produced and hosted “iheartlatinamerica” weekly radio show on CIVL 107.1 FM, and a docu-podcast titled “Indigenous languages in music.” I volunteered in VLAFF since 2011 in multiple capacities. In 2019 I was nominated to the Inspirational Latin Awards – WALDO BRINO Category.

Sociologist, currently a candidate to the MA in International Affairs – King’s College London. I contribute writings for blogs and academic publications; and have worked in the private, public, and non-profit sectors in Canada and South America. Click to visit my networks via LinkTree.