Frances Negrón-Muntaner is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and scholar. Among Negrón-Muntaner’s books are Puerto Rican Jam: Rethinking Colonialism and Nationalism (University of Minnesota Press, 1997), Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture (2004 Choice Outstanding Book), None of the Above: Puerto Ricans in the Global Era (Palsgrave, 2006) and Sovereign Acts (forthcoming, 2012).
Negrón-Muntaner’s films have been screened throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Latin America and have also been broadcasted on many public television stations. Her films include: AIDS in the Barrio (Gold Award at the John Muir Medical Festival in 1990) and Brincando el charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican (1995 Whitney Biennial, Audience Award at the 1995 San Juan CinemaFest, and Meritt Selection at the 1995 Latin American Studies Association Film Festival). She is currently completing a second documentary for television on the relationship between U.S. territories and the military, called Immune.
Negrón-Muntaner is also the founder of Miami Light Project’s Filmmakers Workshop, a program that seeks to promote independent filmmaking in South Florida, as well as a founding board member and former chair of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), the nation’s largest organization of Latino media makers.
In 2005, she was named one of “100 Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business magazine. In 2008, the United Nations’ Rapid Response Media Mechanism recognized her as a “global expert” in the areas of mass media and Latino American culture and politics. Most recently, El Diario/La Prensa recognized her as one of the 2010 recipients of the “Mujeres Destacadas Award” and in 2012 she was one of the recipients of Columbia University’s “Most Distinguished Faculty Award.” She directs Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity And Race.
Baltazar B. Aguon, co-producer, received his Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, and his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Guam. He co-produced and co-directed Tinituhon: Puntan yan Fu’uana, a depiction of the Creation of Guam and the indigenous people of the island (2007). He wrote Måtto Saina’ta as Hurao, a one-minute experimental film about the return of a powerful, ancient chief, to modern day Guam (2006). Additionally, he was an Executive Producer for Prutehi Hao, a youth-oriented HIV prevention video (2005). He has written and produced numerous HIV Prevention Public Service Announcements for the Guam Health Department’s Prutehi Hao program. He is the author of Dos Amantes (2005), a short story based on the Guam legend of the Two Lovers, and has written articles for local magazines. He was awarded Best Editorial in the “3rd Guam Annual Media Awards” for his entry “Why Celebrate Discovery Day?” He scripted, stage-managed, designed, and constructed sets for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the XI South Pacific Games, and the Guam leg of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Torch Relay & Lighting Ceremony. He currently teaches Communications at the University of Guam.
Michael Lujan Bevacqua, co-producer, is the grandson of Elizabeth De Leon Flores Lujan, familiar Bådu, Kabesa and the Chamorro Master Blacksmith, Joaquin Flores Lujan, familian Kåtson, Bittot. He is the son of Rita Flores Lujan Butler and Robert Francis Bevacqua, and has one daughter Sumåhi and one son Akli’e’. He is currently an instructor in Guam History at the University of Guam and recently completed his Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego. He is the editor of the Chamorro zine, Minagahet, and a co-founder of the activist group “Famoksaiyan.” He maintains several websites and blogs dedicated to Chamorro and Guam issues, most notably No Rest for the Awake - Minagahet Chamorro, through which he covered the 2008 Democratic National Convention as the official blogger from Guam.
Bienvenida (Beni) Matías is an executive, educator and filmmaker. She is the former Executive Director of the Association of Hispanic Arts, and former publisher of The Independent. She is currently working on the Latino Public Broadcasting-funded documentary Coquito! as producer/direcotr, with producers Tami Gold and Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez.
Cristine Borja Sumbi, co-producer, is a writer/producer from Guam, based in Los Angeles. A graduate of the USC School of Cinema-Television, she has worked in both television and film, including a position as Director of Development for Icon Productions at Warner Bros. In addition to a wide range of production experiences, Ms. Sumbi has also written independent fiction features and educational shorts. She currently directs a non-profit research foundation in Los Angeles.
Directors of Photography
David Gonzalez is an award-winning Director of Photography and President of the South Florida-based “Wildman Productions.” Mr. Gonzalez has earned several awards for his work in the commercial industry. His film credits include: Louie: A serious Comedy, Beach High and Free Fall.
Edwin Pagán is a New York-based filmmaker, cinematographer, producer, screenwriter, and cultural activist. Pagan has worked for several high-profile media-related CBOs including Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) as an artist grants administrator; IFP Market & Conference (now Independent Film Week) as conference programmer; Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA) as marketing manager; and Black Filmmaker Foundation as program manager. Pagan is also the founder of Latin Horror (www.latinhorror.com), a niche market website specializing in the genre of Latin horror, and as become the go-to guy on the subject. He is also currently writing a book entitled Miedo: The History of Latin Horror.
Manuel Adrian Tsingaris has been an Editor for over twenty years. Past work includes: Alive Inside, winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sundance 2014, The Latino Americans, a 6-hour PBS mini-series retelling US history through a Latin lens which won a Peabody Award, and the award winning documentary, Purgatorio, a poetic fable exploring the beauty and brutality of the US/Mexico Border. Other films include Writ Writer, the story of a jailhouse lawyer who, from behind bars in the 1960’s, alerted the public to the unconstitutional practices in the TX penal system, was an official selection at SXSW 2008 and aired on Independent Lens on PBS. A Dream in Doubt, follows a Sikh man’s journey to find peace and justice after his brother is killed four days after 9/11 and received a Grand Jury Honorable Mention Award at Slamdance in 2007. China Blue, a documentary about child labor in China. In 2007 it was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the Amnesty International Human Rights Award at IDFA in Amsterdam and Long Gone, a film about hobos and the human desire for community, which won Best Documentary at Slamdance 2003.
Tim Sternberg, consulting editor, started working in the editing rooms of Francis Ford Coppola’s “American Zoetrope Studios” in San Francisco. After moving to New York, he worked as a sound effects recordist on Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle and Robert Benton’s The Human Stain, editor for revising the 1992 Academy Award winning Mediterranean for US release and script consultant for the IFP and American Zoetrope. Recently he worked as music editor on Milos Forman’s Goya’s Ghosts and the Academy Award winning documentary The Taint of Yangzhou District, directed by Ruby Yang. His first film as a director, the documentary short Salim Baba was nominated for an Oscar in the 2008 Best Short Documentary category and also for an Emmy in the 2009 Best Arts and Culture Category. It aired on HBO and Canal Plus. Since then he has co-directed El Espiritu de La Salsa for HBO and is finishing up The Day Childhood Ended, a documentary portrait of Mu Xin, a Chinese artist prosecuted during the Cultural Revolution.