Christian Sida

Programming Director

Christian has been involved with VLAFF since 2006, first as a member of the Board of Directors, then as the Volunteer Coordinator, Theatre Manager, Box Office Manager, and Shorts Programmer. He was the Programming Director from 2008-2010 and the Executive Director from 2011-2021. In 2022, he became VLAFF’s Programming Director. Christian has been a jury member at film festivals in Rio de Janeiro, Havana, Cartagena, Valladolid, Guadalajara, Biarritz, and Huelva, among others. Christian was also a jury member for the Colombian National Documentary Prize. In addition to participating in panels and workshops, Christian is also the founder and director of the Festival del Nuevo Cine Mexicano de Durango in Mexico. During 2018 and part of 2019, Christian was the Head of the Film Commission of the State of Durango, Mexico. In 2015 he received an official recognition from the Consulate General of Colombia in Vancouver, for his work promoting Colombian cinema. He is the director & co-creator of the 2021 feature Santuario: El viaje perrote de Paty Aguirre. Christian is now finishing his second feature film Historia Miníma de Durango.

Anne-Mary Mullen

Canada Looks South, New Directors

Anne-Mary is a film programmer, writer, and arts administrator. She currently works with the Sustainable Entertainment Society organizing the Sustainable Production Forum and Clean Energy Series. For eight years, Anne-Mary was the Senior Programmer & General Manager of VLAFF. She specializes in Latin-Canadian cinema and has participated in festivals in Argentina, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain. She has worked at festivals all over North America including the San Francisco International Film Festival, Frameline: LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Tribeca, Sundance, Make Believe: Seattle, and the Durango Festival of New Mexican Cinema. She holds a Master’s Degree in Literature from San Francisco State University and was one of the directors of the Robson Reading Series at UBC. She is the co-writer of the 2021 feature documentary Santuario: A Punk Portrait of Paty Aguirre and is currently working on a picture book about her beloved dog, Zarco.

Masa’n Galindo

Films from Turtle Island & Beyond

Masa’n Galindo, O’dam from Durango, México. Anthropologist, filmmaker, translator and cultural manager, alumni at the Campamento Audiovisual Itinerante (CAI). In 2021, she founded the Circuito de Cine gio Arte Sierra O’dam (CCASO). This project has produced 18 short films, showcased theater performances, movies, and conducted film and animation workshops in seven different communities in O’dam territories. That same year, she received the Jury Prize from the Cátedra Bergman de Cine y Teatro at UNAM and DocsMX for the short film Luisa gu mejikan, alongside Zulema Sánchez. She was part of the editing and script team for Bucan tu rhachhidu’ (2023), a short film by the Yi Hagamos Lumbre collective, premiered at FICUNAM 2023.

Akira Iahtail

Films from Turtle Island & Beyond

Akira Iahtail is Plains Cree on her mother’s side and Swampy Cree on her father’s side, a member of Attawapiskat First Nation located in Treaty 9 territory. Born and raised in Amiskwaciwâskahikan, also known as Edmonton, Alberta, she is currently a student at Simon Fraser University, majoring in Indigenous Studies and minoring in Cinema Studies. She has been involved with the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival since 2021, working in guest services, programming, as the student intern, and most recently as a member of the jury in 2024. She has programmed with the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival since 2022. Currently, she programs a monthly Indigenous film series, Our Stories to Tell, at The Cinematheque.

José Luis Cano

New Directors

José Luis Cano is a director and producer graduate of the Dolores del Río Cinematography and Acting Center in Durango. He participated in documentary cinema formation programs as DocsLab, NorteDocs and the IMCINE National Network of Audiovisual Poles. Also he has taken online training courses on scriptwriting and independent cinema. Since 2019 he is one of the programmers of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. His short films as director and producer have been part of multiple festivals and he is actually working on independent Mexican feature films as a producer and sometimes as a music video director.

Kathleen Mullen

Queer Pix, Queer Features

Kathleen Mullen has contributed to the planning of film festivals nationally and internationally as curator, programmer, and festival director. Kathleen enjoys watching a lot of different genres and styles of films and is currently programming for Seattle International Film Festival, Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Frameline: San Francisco LGBTQ+ Film Festival, and others. She currently teaches two student-led festivals, Skoden Indigenous Film Festival at Simon Fraser University and Lesley University Independent Film Festival. For 9 years, she led the programming and operations as Festival Director of the Seattle Queer Film Festival. Other festival highlights include: Whistler Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Inside Out Toronto, and Planet in Focus. Kathleen has directed eight films including you wash my skin with sunshine, Button OUT!, and Breathtaking.

Daniela Rodríguez Chevalier

Shorts in Competition

Originally from Mexico and with a Quebecois pépé, Daniela Rodríguez Chevalier (she/ella) is passionate about analog & lo-fi practices, poetry & hybrid forms, art making in community and independent radio. Her work has appeared in Discorder Magazine, PRISM International, AHVA Gallery, Framer Framed, Small File Media Festival, UNIT/PITT and as wallpapers on friends’ phones. Also known as DJ D-Rod, Dani is co-host of the CiTR101.9fm show Vivaporú, el ungüento para el alma. She is a founding member of el mashup and mim interdisciplinary arts collectives, and currently programs Shorts in Competition at the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. Dani lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations with one of her four siblings and her two wiener dogs.

Ana Tonso

Shorts in Competition

Born into a family deeply involved in political and human rights activism, Ana is an artist and cinematography graduate raised in Buenos Aires during the 90s amid an extreme social and economic crisis. This upbringing forged her interests and passion for archival, documentary projects, and film works centred on social matters. She has directed two short films on political activism and worked as a staff member at various international film festivals for over eight years involving cultural diversity, documentary and human rights themes. Currently, she is a member of the Shorts in Competition programming team and Youth Jury Coordinator at the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival.

Juan Pablo Franky

Film Consultant

Film programmer, film journalist and film teacher. In Argentina, he worked as press officer for FECIVE and directed and proJuan Pablo Franky is artistic director of MIDBO, film festival programmer, journalist and film teacher. He studied film at the Black María Film School and film criticism in El Amante (Bs As). He also studied Literature at the National University of Colombia and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at the same institution. He worked as press officer for FECIVE (Venezuelan Film Festival of Buenos Aires), directed and programmed the Buenos Aires headquarters of the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival during its first five years and was Publications Coordinator for Cinemancia Metropolitan Film Festival (Medellín, Antioquia) . He currently works as delegate coordinator of the Central and Eastern European Film Festival Al Este Colombia.

Valentina Acevedo Montilla

¡Así Suena! Music Nights

Valentina (she/ella) is a Mexican-Venezuelan cultural curator/gestora cultural based on the stolen and ancestral lands and waters of the xwməϴkwəýəm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations since 2013. She comes from a family of musicians, incredible cooks, and community builders; she also holds a BA in Art History and Anthropology from UBC, with a focus in museum studies. Valentina has a deep love for art, community engaged arts practices and bringing people together through art, culture and food. She has been involved with VLAFF since its 13th edition; first as a movie-goer, a volunteer, a Youth Juror, and now as its Managing Director since 2020. You can also find Valentina managing The Cultch’s Youth Program and IGNITE!, a beautifully multidisciplinary festival celebrating emerging artists in so-called East Vancouver.

Charlie Hidalgo

Queer Pix, Queer Features – Guest Curator

Charlie Hidalgo (he/they) is a Colombian-Canadian film curator, filmmaker, and the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. He is committed to combating the erasure of 2SLGBTQIA+ BIPOC identities in the media by curating and creating stories that question culture and empower queer and trans-BIPOC communities. His work has screened at TIFF, SXSW, Slamdance, BFI, VIFF, Inside Out, Outfest, and NewFest Film Festivals. He has programmed for Urbanworld, Slamdance, Cucalorus, Tribeca, Inside Out, Outfest, NewFest, and Athena Film Festivals.