I painted from a very young age until I was twenty years old. Then I quit, almost violently: one day I got up, burned all my sketches and brushes in a big bonfire and never painted again. In time, you lose the technique, the manual skills, the line. A few years later I started to make films and found that my place was in moving images. I believe in the essential transmutation of images and that they have to power to convey pain, love and the events that move me: life itself. To me, art and cinema are transformation.
Is a filmmaker and university professor. She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 20 September, 1969. She has a degree in Advertising from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the UNLZ (Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora) and studied Filmmaking at IDAC (Instituto de Arte Cinematográfico de Avellaneda) and Television Production at TEA Imagen.
She currently works as Coordinator of the Audiovisual Media Department at the Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano, part of the National Ministry of Culture, Argentina, and as a teacher at the UNA (Universidad Nacional de las Artes), Buenos Aires.
She recently completed Newen, a creative documentary that searches for the traces of the repressed identity of her Mapuche grandmother. The production process took her on a trip deep into Patagonia, listening to the old women and trying to recover a part of her identity. Newen won the Award for National Feature-length Documentary given by INCAA (Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales), the Moisés Huentelaf Award for Ethnographic Work at the 6th Film Festival for Indigenous Peoples and Stateless Nations in Valparaíso, Chile, 2015, and the Award for Best Mapuche Documentary at the International Mapuche and Abya Yala Film and Video Festival, Temuco, Wallmapu, Chile, 2016.
In 2008 she founded Fronteracine, a production company specializing in documentary cinema.
A founding member of ADoc / Argentina (Asociación de Documentalistas), 2001.
An associate member of DOCA (Documentalistas Argentinos).
A founding member of RAD (Red Argentina de Documentalistas).
She has taken photography courses at EDAF (Escuela de Fotografía de Avellaneda) and for several years has attended workshops given by Adriana Lestido.
In 2013, together with Carina Balledares and Mariano Pedrosa, she won a grant for group projects from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes de Argentina for the audiovisual research project “Work, image and memory”: a choral visual piece about work at the Fábrica Recuperada CUC, Cooperativa Unidos por el Calzado (formerly Gatic), a shoe factory run by workers, and how it has changed over time.
In 2011 she exhibited the photographic essay “Retratos del Desmonte” (Portraits of Deforestation), about the Wichi community in Misión Carboncito, which was selected to be shown at the exhibition Mostra de Ensaios Fotográficos da IX RAM, MERCOSUR Anthropology Congress, Universidade de Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil, 2011.
In 2010 she co-directed, along with Guillermo Glass, the film Inacayal. La negación de nuestra identidad (Incayal. The Denial of our Identity), about the Cacique Inacayal, his life and death, and the restoration of his remains to his community by the Museo de La Plata (Faculty of Natural Sciences and Museum) in 1994. The documentary won the Tele-film Award in the Bicentennial Competition run by INCAA (Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales de Argentina), as well as eight other awards including First Prize in the Human Rights Documentary category at the 14th Latin American Video Festival in Rosario, Argentina, 2012; and selections for the International Exhibition “El Cine en la Cumbre” (Cinema at the Peak), Sacred City of Tajín, Mexico, 2013; Festival Présence Autochtone de Montréal, Québec, Canada, 2013, and the LASA Film Festival de Chicago, USA, 2014.
In 2009 she held an internship at the Photography and Audiovisual Media Department, CONICET CENPAT in Puerto Madryn, Chubut Province.
In 2008 she was a juror for the pre-selection of the 3rd MERCOSUR Scientific Film and Video Festival.
Between 2007 and 2008 she made the documentary Malvinas: veinticinco años de silencio (Malvinas, Twenty-Five Years of Silence). The film was purchased by the television channel run by the Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales (INCAA TV), 2011 and Canal Encuentro run by the Ministerio de Educación de la Nación, 2012.
In March, 2008 she went to the Islas Malvinas with the support of the Peace Boat, an Educational NGO from Japan, where she made the photographic essay, Haiku de las islas.
In 2006 she produced the documentary Mauro Wichi, directed by Marcelo Galvez, which won the Award for Best Educational Documentary at the Latin American Video Festival in Rosario, Argentina, 2008, and was also selected for the Latin American Film Festival in Toulouse, France, 2007.
In 2004 she made the photographic essay Kamaruko, depicting the Tehuelche Mapuche community of Nahuelpan in Esquel, Chubut Province, Patagonia, Argentina.
In 2004 she received a national grant for audiovisual media from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes, Argentina, for the project Ñe Kurruf, Ojos del Viento (Eyes of the Wind), made in Esquel, Chubut Province, Patagonia, Argentina.
In 2003, together with Andrea Torres, a qualified teacher, she created El Taller de la Mirada, a workshop on participative video and documental photography for children.
In 2003 she was invited by Pedro Saborido and Emilio Cartoy Díaz – Tea Imagen – to take part in La Colifata TV (a television program broadcast by Telefe about the radio station run by patients and ex-patients of the J. T. Borda Neuropsychiatric Hospital) run by the open radio station los colifatos, in solidarity with the Toba community in Resistencia, Chaco Province, Argentina.
In 2002, along with Fernando Krichmar, she co-directed Por un nuevo cine, en un nuevo país (For a New Cinema in a New Country), a collective documentary about the popular rebellion in Argentina in December 2001, which won the Cacho Pallero Award for Best Documentary in the Santa Fe Film and Video Competition, 2002; and was selected for the Official Documentary category at the 24th International Festival of New Latin American Film, La Habana, Cuba and the 53rd Berlin International Film Festival, Germany, 2003, among others.
Between 2000 and 2002 she wrote the script and directed the documentary El puente (The Bridge, examining the events of 1999 in Corrientes Province and expanding to a reflection on the country two years later), which received First Prize for Best Documentary Video about Human Rights at the 9th Festival of Latin American Video in Rosario, 2002. It was also exhibited as a Special Projection at the Visions du Réel International Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, 2003 and selected in 2013 to form part of the audiovisual archive to mark 30 years of democracy run by the Ministerio de Educación de la Nación Argentina.
In 1999 she wrote the script and directed the documentary essay Inmigrantes de fin de siglo (Immigrants from the End of the Century, exploring the lives and dreams of a group of immigrants from Bolivia, Egypt and Russia in Buenos Aires at the end of the century), which won the Award for Best Documentary Direction at the Annual Exhibition of Argentine Video put on by the Sociedad Argentina de Video Independiente.
Between 1998 and 2000 she studied Filmmaking at the IDAC, Instituto de Arte Cinematográfico de Avellaneda. She made her début at the IDAC as director and scriptwriter with No se fía (Untrustworthy, a documentary on the closure of neighbourhood stores following the arrival of large multi-national supermarket chains during a period of heavy unemployment) which was selected for official exhibition at the Student Film Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In 1997 she studied Television Production at TEA Imagen, working as an assistant on the documentary video 20 años, 20 poemas, 20 artistas (20 Years, 20 Poems, 20 Artists) for the Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo, directed by Emilio Cartoy Díaz and produced by Tea Imagen.
In 1996 she received her degree in Advertising (Faculty of Social Sciences at UNLZ) and worked as a designer and creative director at different art and design studios.
Between 2004 and 2008, she worked as a professor on courses on Television and Documentary at TEA Imagen and between 2007 and 2014 as Head of Practical Work on Filmmaking Course 1 at the IUNA (Instituto Universitario Nacional del Arte).
In recent years she has been invited on five occasions to show her films on the Peace Boat, a Japanese Educational NGO, on different trips around Latin America.
Documentary video 20 años, 20 poemas, 20 artistas (20 Years, 20 Poems, 20 Artists), for the Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo directed by Emilio Cartoy Díaz – Produced by Tea Imagen (1997).
Argentina Arde Counterinformation Collective of Photographers and Video-Activists (2001-2002).
Documentary Crónicas de libertad (organizando la resistencia) (Chronicles of Freedom, organizing the resistance), Grupo Alavío, directed by Fabián Pierucci, a documentary about the repression on the Pueyrredón Bridge (2002).
Documentary Yaguareté, directed by Eliana Scavella, a documentary about the possible extinction of the largest feline in South America: the yaguareté (2003).
Documentary Un gigante dormido (A Sleeping Giant), Grupo Boedo Films, directed by Sandra Godoy and Julio Tejeda, a documentary about the privatization of Ferrocarriles Argentinos and the disappearance of its social role (2005-2008). Documentary Mauro Wichi, directed by Marcelo Gálvez, a documentary about bilingual issues in the Wichi community in Misión Carboncito, Salta (2006).
Gaviotas blindadas (Armoured Seagulls), a documentary trilogy by the Grupo Mascaró Cine Americano (2006-2008).
Seré millones (I’ll be Milllions) by Omar Neri, Fernando Krichmar and Mónica Simoncini (2013).
Cipriano, “Yo hice el 17 de octubre” (I Made 17 October) by Marcelo Galvez (2014).
La livertá by Gustavo Gzain, which explores the thought of the writer and journalist Osvaldo Bayer about individual and social freedom (2013).
El camino de Santiago: periodismo, cine y revolución en Cuba (Santiago’s Way: Journalism, Cinema and Revolution in Cuba) by Fernando Krichmar. The Cine Insurgente group looks at contemporary Cuban filmmakers focusing on the present situation in the country. Santiago Álvarez is considered the master of Latin American documentaries and is the founder of the news service ICAIC (2015).
Seminars, conferences and talks
In 2002 she ran the seminar “Editing techniques for alternative productions”, for the group Cine Insurgente, at the Universidad Popular Madres de Plaza de Mayo, 2002.
In 2012 she was a training professor in journalistic and documentary production for the Programa Polos Audiovisuales Tecnológicos at different universities in Argentine Patagonia.
In 2013 she held a Workshop in Documentary Production in Tilcara, Jujuy Province, organized by Wayruro Comunicación Popular.
In 2013 she held the conference “The Projection and Experience of Documentary Cinema in Latin America”, Peace Boat, a Japanese educational NGO, in Río de Janeiro, Brazil.
In 2017, as part of the talk cycle "Autoras" (Authors), she was part of the round table "Community, Land and Roots", which also featured Guadalupe Miles, Margarita Garcia Faure and Verónica Mastrosimone. Coordinated by Gisela Volá at ArtexArte, in Buenos Aires.
She has taken part in several round tables at national and international universities and festivals.