Twenty-four youth from Vancouver and across Latin America will watch, debate and champion the six films in the New Directors Competition to select the winner of the New Directors Award. On September 6, the Youth Jury will present the Youth Jury Award.

Aiden Cumming-Teicher
Aiden is a Vancouver actor best known as “George” in AMBI Pictures “Beyond The Sun” (filmed in Argentina and featuring his holiness Pope Francis). They were also cast in the feature films “The Chorus” and “The Glove”, as well as in “Who We Care For” for the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.

German Torres Ascencio
German is Mexican filmmaker born in Guadalajara, Jalisco who currently attends his last semester in Universidad de Guadalajara’s film school. After shooting fiction and documentary short films he is currently working on his first feature. In high school he was a debate kid, but then he took a film class.

Pedro Pablo Hernández de Obeso
Pedro Pablo Hernández de Obeso has a Bachelor of Audiovisual Arts from the University of Guadalajara. In 2018 was premiered his first feature-length as Director of Photography at “Crimen por Omisión” directed by Jaime Humberto Hermosillo. His documentary short film, “Ecos”, is currently selected in FICG35 and SHORTS MÉXICO 2020.

Carla Ascencio
Carla Ascencio is a video editor and producer from El Salvador. Currently, she’s studying film production in the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC) in Mexico. She has a degree in Social Communications and has worked as a video journalist for different digital outlets and as editor for commercial and tv productions.

Andrea Morales Calderón
Andrea Morales Calderón, born in México City in 1993, graduated as a script writer from Casa Comal Escuela (Guatemala) in 2015 and is now specializing as a producer at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (México). With a degree in socio cultural anthropology, she has been featured both in academic and literary publications.

Juan Tafoya
Juan Salvador Tafoya was born in the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, in 1992. He studied Visual Arts at the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas. He currently studies in the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica in the Cinematography Bachelor’s program.

Thomas Grossi
My name is Thomas Grossi, and I am a second-year Creative Writing student at the University of Victoria’s Fine Arts Program. I’ve loved film since I was about four years old and saw Walt Disney’s Fantasia for the first time; that occasion sparked an eternal passion for cinema and its infinite imagination.

Diana Isabel Mejía 
Born in Mexico, raised in Chicago and currently residing in Canada. In 2015 I began film school in Mexico and am currently in my final year after being on the Student Council and presiding over the Student Board of the program for two years in a row.

Lucía Malandro
Lucía Malandro screenwriter and director, currently studying at Eictv. She has received workshops with important filmmakers like Werner Herzog. In 2019, she created the Malandro-Saucedo duo, directing short films such as Tlon Uqbar, the Delia Thinking Machine, The Flooded House, with a successful journey at international festivals.

Leon Boltvinik
León Boltvinik is a senior year film student at Mexico City’s Escuela Superior de Cine, specializing in cinematography. He has been part of projects both documentary and drama in Mexico, New York City and Cuba. He is also a stills photographer with his work recently being featured by Centro de la Imagen.

Ilse Aguilar
Ilse is a graduate in Philosophy. 2016 youth jury for Festival del Nuevo Cine Mexicano de Durango, she’s been in second DA for ‘Colozio’, Script for ‘Revolucion’ a Series, and Making Of Desde una ventana. Recently part of ‘Retorno a la razón’ a radio show covering FICUNAM.

Sofía Minerva Sánchez Nateras
Sofía Minerva Sánchez Nateras is from Mexico City. She is currently studying at UNAM for a degree in English Literature. She is deeply interested in the field of comparative literature, especially the area between literature and other arts, such as film. She is looking forward to being exposed to new Latin American narratives.

Violeta Mora
Violeta Mora was born in Central America. She began to approach cinema as a way of understanding the past and the sensations of everyday life. She has directed some documentary and experimental short films and been a costume designer in feature and short films from Honduras and Costa Rica. Currently, she is studying documentary direction in EICTV – Cuba and making explorations and experimentations through embroidery.

Agustín Casillas
He’s a student of the communication degree in Nayarit, Mexico. He participated PPRR assistant at the 2018 Amado Nervo Festival. Since 2019 he’s the creator and director of the website Comunidad Peyote, he was a promoter for Entrepreneurship Workshop for Cultural Projects and programmer of the project Communitary Cinema in the wixárika community at the Zitakua neighborhood.

Luis Bustos
Luis was born in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico, in 1998. He has spent his whole life there and maybe he will some more. Now he is in his last semester in the Audiovisual Arts degree at the University of Guadalajara. A passionate cinephile and filmmaker!

Guilherme Franco
Guilherme is a Journalist, Curator, Visual Artist and Filmmaker. He was International Assistant at Elo Company and of Executive Production at bigBonsai, also Curator of Festivals in Brazil and England. “Laura”, his first film, it is circulating at festivals. Master Student of Cinema and Communication at University of Campinas, participate in the Covid 19 Memory Project.

José Eduardo Álvarez Flores
Borned in La Paz Baja California Sur, raised in Mexico city, I’m finishing my filmmaker degree at Centro de diseño Cine y Televisión. The cinema that interests me and the one that I aim to craft is the one that seeks the third meaning (1 + 1 = 3). cinema is the art that makes you think through images, cinema should enlighten us, not the other way around.

Melissa Castañeda
Melissa Castañeda is from Tijuana, México. She is a co-organizer at Tijuana Zine Fest and Festival Internacional de Fotografía Tijuana. She has produced music videos, short films, and feature films as part of the production company Violeta Audiovisual. She studies Cinematography at Universidad de las Californias.

Diego Hidalgo
My name is Diego Hidalgo and I’m a sophomore film student from Veritas University, Costa Rica. I’ve done various YouTube videos and a rock documentary in the past, and I’m currently entering pre-production for a short film I wrote during quarantine. I know the path is very long, but I’m eager to learn everything I can and become a real filmmaker.

Isabel Antonia Mejia
Isabel Mejia is a Canadian-Ecuadorean who has spent most of her life in England. Her time in Vancouver and frequent visits to Ecuador encouraged her to pursue film, particularly documentary filmmaking with a focus on cultural identity. Isabel is currently studying film at the University of Westminster in London, England.

Viviana Soria
Viviana Soria is a Colombian/Bolivian immigrant currently working in Vancouver, BC. She is the co-host of the radio show Vivaporú, The Ointment for The Soul, dedicated to the boundless Latin American music genres, history, traditions and vast culture. Viviana genuinely believes Latin American films are crucial to the immigrant life, because relating to the stories being told on the screen enhances the Latin American experience infinitely, and brings pieces of home closer to the immigrant heart.

Evan Luchkow
Evan Luchkow is a Vancouver-based filmmaker whose narrative and non-fiction films explore the intersection between nature and society. Before focussing on film, Evan studied philosophy and biology at the University of Alberta. Originally from Edmonton, he continues to be inspired by the character-building winters of his childhood.

Patricio Solis
I am Patricio Solis Macias, an aspiring film director based in Mexico City. I am actually in the first year of filmmaking studies at “Escuela Superior de Cine” (ESCINE). Beyond creating films, I am also interested in discovering different Latin American narratives, both in literature, music and films.

Valeria Ascolese
Ascolese is a multidisciplinary artist born in Lima, Peru. A returning VLAFF Juror, she is a graduate of Capilano University where she trained as an actor in Theatre and Film/TV. In her work, she explores the complexities of identity and culture while unapologetically celebrating her roots. In addition to frequently working on stage and on screen across the Lower Mainland, Valeria is a Preschool Theatre Instructor. Coming from a culturally rich background, Valeria communicates and performs in Spanish, Italian and English. She is so proud to share, watch and learn from Latinx filmmaking again this year as we celebrate our beautiful Latinx culture during the festival.