Kristal Sotomayor

Latinx, Peruvian American

Philadelphia Latino Film Festival¡Presente! Media

Stills

Kristal Sotomayor is a bilingual Latinx documentary filmmaker, festival programmer, and freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. Drawing inspiration from their Peruvian heritage, Kristal’s community-based work practice focuses on Latinidad, immigration, and belonging. They aim to decolonize documentary by practicing transformative filmmaking that humanizes and validates the lived experiences of underrepresented communities.   Currently, Kristal is in post-production on Expanding Sanctuary, an independent short documentary about the historic end to police surveillance organized by nonprofit Juntos and the Latinx immigrant community in South Philadelphia. The documentary began through the Film Scholars Fellowship with Scribe Video Center, co-sponsored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Kristal is a 2020 Justice For My Sister Sci-Fi Screenwriting Lab Fellow, 2019 Good Pitch Local: Philadelphia grantee, 2018 Leeway Foundation Art & Change grantee, and 2017 NeXtDoc Fellow.   They serve as the Programming Director of the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival and are a Co-Founder of ¡Presente! Media. Formerly, Kristal was the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at Scribe Video Center. In the past, they have assisted with curation for the "Spotlight on Documentaries" at IFP Week, Camden International Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, and the award-winning PBS series POV | American Documentary.   Kristal’s journalistic background includes having written for ITVS, AL DÍA, WHYY and Documentary Magazine. They have been awarded the Sundance Institute’s Press Inclusion Initiative, the inaugural International Documentary Association (IDA) Magazine Editorial Fellowship, the Lenfest Next Generation Fund grant, and selected for the NBC University. Kristal is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).

Active Projects

Expanding Sanctuary (in post-production) follows immigrant mother Linda Hernandez as she becomes a community leader during the historic campaign to end the sharing of the Philadelphia police database with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Seeking national and international distribution.   Supporters include the Leeway Foundation; GoodPitch Local: Philadelphia; The Velocity Fund administered by Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University with generous funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and The Philadelphia Independent Media Fund administered by Scribe Video Center with funds provided by the Independence Public Media Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation.

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