20th Vancouver Latin American Film Festival
August 25 – September 4, 2022

UPDATE: Winner of the 2022 Youth Jury Award for Best New Director: IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY (Dir. Victoria Linares Villegas)

The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival is thrilled to announce our 2022 Youth Jury. This group of 20 young filmmakers and artistic creators based in BC and Latin America will receive mentorship, attend a deliberation session, and present the Youth Choice Award for Best New Director at the Closing Ceremony on September 4th (either in-person or virtually).

Please make sure to join the dialogues with the Youth Jury and the filmmakers in the New Directors Competition, live-streamed throughout the festival via the VLAFF Facebook Live page. To learn a bit more about our Youth Jury members, don’t miss their bios:




Aldo Melendrez
Is a 26 year old Mexican filmmaker, born in Tecate, Mexico, currently continuing his studies in Vancouver, Canada. His latest film Cochi premiered at festivals in Mexico, South Korea, and the United States, receiving the award for Best Border Short Film at the San Diego Latino Film Festival.

Julia Tapia Camacho
Julia is a Film and TV student from Bogota, Colombia. Her interests focus on documentaries, film critique, writing, and literature. She is currently a member of the curatorial and programming department of the Equinoxio Film Festival, which seeks to showcase university projects that explore and reimagine the boundaries of cinema.

Alvaro Iturralde
Was born on February 8, 1998 in Quito, Ecuador. As a child he showed interest in acting, participating in commercials and TV spots, and later on acting in short films and theatre plays. In 2020 he began studying acting and filmmaking in InCine after studying acting for one year in Madrid.

Carla Amaro

Peruvian photographer and filmmaker. BA in Audiovisual Communication. Worked as a film programmer and producer at festivals and cultural fairs in Lima. Former member of Jauría, Photography and Human Rights Collective. Currently a resident at Salvajes Film Program by elgalpon.transcinema. Interested in memory, identity, and archive.

J. Raquel Melgar
(Honduras) producer, director, and screenwriter, participant in Hack Mafiz Malaga (2021), woodcock for the Iberoamerican Meeting of Emerging Filmmakers and the Film Creation Laboratory (Guatemala, 2020-2021). International Representative of the Ancash Film Festival and student of the specialty in Production at the EICTV, Cuba.

Joseph Alexander Herrera.

Filmmaking student from the National University of Colombia. Director of the 22nd Equinoxio Student Film Festival (2020). His interests gather around docufiction narratives, lo-fi imagery, home movies, and intuitive montage. During his career he’s been working as director of several short films and editor of many graduate thesis.

Kup Guan
Is a Chinese student studying Film Production and Creative Writing at UBC. She values the power of storytelling on screens and loves exploring screenwriting by combining stories, thoughts, and concepts with cinematic, visual elements.

Lila Raspo
Was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and she is in the final stage of her degree in Audiovisual Arts at the Universidad Nacional de las Artes. She works as a communicator and artistic producer in various fields, such as cinema, radio, television, and film festivals.

Manan Choudhry
I am in third year at UBC majoring in film production and aspiring to become a producer/director. Apart from film, I like to travel, explore different cultures, food, and I love outdoor sports. 

Maraya Franca (she/her) is primarily a theatre artist, currently in her last semester at SFU’s Contemporary Arts program. Originally from Brazil, Maraya immigrated in 2009 and now lives and learns on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Kwikwetlem Nations. She’s so excited to be a part of this jury, and is honoured to be welcomed in as a part of this festival!

Marcela Villaca

is a Brazilian immigrant-settler on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, with a background in youth programming, anti-oppression, and Restorative Justice. Since graduating from Quest University, she’s worked across the Lower Mainland to push justice and education away from a model of conflict and competition and towards equity, accessibility, and peace while obsessing over all things Latin American.

Micaela Ayala
I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am currently studying communication, but I am a filmmaker and I work in the marketing area of a company. This made me unite two passions. I like to communicate about cinema and that more people know this type of art.

Mirella Quio
I’m from the Peruvian Amazon, 24 years old, and am a social communicator and film sound engineer. I am proactive and I like teamwork. For me, cinema is the art of telling stories; a cinema for social transformation; A cinema for life.

Musu Nandwani
Is a Belizean-Sindhi screenwriter currently based in Vancouver, BC. After studying business management for most of her life, she was finally able to convince her parents to pursue her dream of screenwriting. She thought that directing would be the initial direction she would move towards but after earning a foundation degree in the Study of Screen Media & Design at the University of Arts London, she realized that her love of writing wasn’t just a hobby. So, in a moment of impulse and a minute away from a total mental breakdown, she applied to Vancouver Film School for the Writing for Film, Television, and Games program. Musu aspires to work on projects that showcase and represent her Belizean-Sindhi background in a positive and accurate light.

Nelson Galvis
Hi, I study Film and Television at the National University of Colombia, I have worked as a producer in various projects and as a film critic for the online magazine Cinemaldito; I am interested in that cinema that breaks with contemporary paradigms and transcends the ephemeral individual consciousness.

Santiago Buitrago
My name is Santiago Buitrago. I live in Bogota, Colombia. I am 19 years old and currently studying Film and Television at Universidad Nacional de Colombia (with experience in the fields of sound, production, and direction) and Modern Languages at Universidad Ean (with experience in translation from English to Spanish).

Sebastian Arancibia
Is a Chilean filmmaker and screenwriter. In his country he directed a short documentary about the trap movement, and now he is writing his first feature, set in the desert of Chile where he grew up, and that deals with topics such as memory, sexuality, and mental health.

Sebastian Hurtado
Originally from Acapulco, Mexico, Sebastián studied Political Science at UNAM before winning a scholarship to study Writing at VFS. His cinephilia began as a teenager and since then he has participated in various local festivals and has taken seminars and courses on film appreciation, criticism, and filmmaking.

Sebastian Jaimes Marin
Is a film student at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He was director of the Equinoxio Film Festival in 2019. His audiovisual works have been shown in art exhibitions and film festivals in Colombia and Germany. He is interested in the exploration of non-western themes through non-fiction cinema and other audiovisual languages.

Silvia Samira
Is a Dubai-born, Colombian-Azerbaijani settler living on the ancestral, traditional and unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. They are a recent psychology and sociology graduate from UBC, and their passion lies in creating community, and making spaces safer for marginalised groups.

Ismael Zgaib
Born in Argentina in 1993, has a Major’s degree in Film and TV. Since 2016 he has been working as assistant director and assistant editor. He is currently working on the post-production of his first feature film, The Uninvited, winner of the First Feature Contest, organized by INCAA.