Director Biography – Mark Chavez (Quantum LOGOS (vision serpent))

Mark Chavez is an animation industry veteran who has worked at major animation studios on more than 15 award-winning feature films and innovative interactive titles.
He is founding faculty for the animation area at Nanyang Technological University Singapore’s School of Art, Design & Media. He is chair of the SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 conference’s Art Gallery in Hong Kong and for the SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 Educators Program in Singapore. As a Primary Investigator, he was granted significant funding from the National Research Foundation / Media Development Authority of Singapore to establish research in the School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University.
Mark’s current work explores Quantum Theory with cultural archetypes. In an immersive reactive audio-visual experience that uses cultural archetypes to explore natural phenomena, Mark utilizes aspects of intuitive, assumptive cultural models to describe the nature of existence as confirmed through scientific observation. Other recent works have been awarded prestigious 2018 and 2017 Lumiere Awards by Advanced Imaging Society (AIS) and Virtual Reality (VR) Society’s Hollywood and EMEA chapters (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and has been exhibited at international events such as Ars Electronica Festival (2015-2018), Media Architecture Biennial 2018 Beijing, Art|Sci Gallery UCLA 2018, Web 3D Art Gallery Brisbane 2017, Visualization Matters UNSW Sydney, Asia Animation Forum PISAF Korea 2017, and New Media Festival 2017. He has created other animated films that have screened at numerous international film festivals and have received awards.

Director Statement

My artistic practice strives to utilize digital multimedia techniques to tag meaning to tangible, concrete ideas. I explore computer animation with emotive-abstraction, mapping design to emotions, with audio-reactive motion and real-time animation design. My work currently attempts to shape a sense of familiarity to themes I am exploring by using cultural archetypes and design to explain contemporary scientific ideas and concepts. I exhibit my artwork as short films, interactive and reactive, immersive fields, and print.

Short Film: Quantum LOGOS (vision serpent), 11min., USA, Animation

Going beyond the limitations of classical logic this film uses images as poetry to represent the quantum world. Using cultural icons to create visual metaphors to explore, and discover; to communicate the counterintuitive, and contradictory beauty of quantum physics.

Project Links

News & Reviews

Director Biography – Rommel Villa Barriga (SWEET POTATOES)

Rommel is a director, producer, and writer born and raised in Sucre, Bolivia. His interest in telling stories started when he was a kid, creating fictional stories about his family having superpowers and fighting poverty and corruption. Rommel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Engineering, a minor in Psychology, and he recently graduated from the MFA in FIlm and TV Production program at USC with an emphasis in Directing, where he directed over 8 films and wrote more than 10 scripts.
Winner of best director in several theater festivals in Bolivia, Rommel received the Lionsgate and Televisa fund for Latinx filmmakers at USC. In addition, he was awarded two directing grants: one of them being TEDDY MATE, fully funded by USC, and the second one, SWEET POTATOES, which was funded by the Sloan Foundation and won a Student Academy Award. Rommel’s next project will be a psychological film based on the experience of Latino young adults in San Fernando Valley who suffer from psychotic disorders.

Director Statement

I come from a numerous family. My father has twelve siblings, my mom has fourteen. Family reunions were great. We were more than fifty people sitting around an infinite table eating, laughing, and playing together. It all seemed fine on the surface, but what I didn’t notice were the sacrifices some of my relatives had to make in order to provide for their families. My uncle Carlos works as a teacher, carpenter, and DJ to make enough money to support his six kids, my grandmother spends at least five days, most of them sleepless nights, preparing meals for family reunions, and my mom, she left her career as a nurse in order to take care of my sister and I, all because of the taboos and lack of accessibility of birth control methods in Bolivia.
When I read the biography of Luis Miramontes, memories of my own life and my family’s struggles came back to life, which encouraged me to tell his lovely story. Sweet Potatoes is a story about everlasting and rocky relationships. Luis was a young scientist who at the early age of 26, already had a few children and struggled a lot to provide for them. That encouraged him even harder to synthesize the main component of the contraceptive pill. Something I’m fascinated by about Luis is that he was one of the few scientists who didn’t criticize faith but embraced it. From Sunday Mass and Baptisms to prayers before dinner, his good relationship with his wife got even stronger thanks to the guidance of their friend, the priest in town. However, things went south for Luis when the priest finds out he was working on the birth control pill.
As the story develops, we follow Luis’ self-destructive obsession with his job and experience the consequences of his invention which includes his detachment from his family and the disapproval from his church. I think this is a good opportunity to show the humanity behind a young Latino scientist who was not recognized by the world for his brilliant mind. Instead, he was humiliated and condemned for his actions. However, through that painful process, he learned to cherished what really matters in life, his family.

Director Biography – Miriam Kruishoop (ESTILO AMERICANO)

Award-winning Miriam Kruishoop (Vive Elle, Unter Den Palmen,
Greencard Warriors) is a Dutch-American writer/director and visual
artist. Kruishoop graduated with honors from the Gerrit Rietveld
Academy in Amsterdam. Kruishoop previously wrote and directed
another Latino film, the award-winning feature Greencard Warriors starring Manny Perez. The film tells the story of an undocumented family whose eldest son is recruited by the army with the promise of a green card. In 2014, Kruishoop was awarded the Best Director Award at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF). After its theatrical release, the film was featured on HBO Latino.


Kruishoop’s work centres around diversity and focuses on the under-seen people in society – the isolated within communities and the victims of racism and prejudice. Kruishoop has won multiple awards for her work including the Culture Prize of the City of Amsterdam, a Tiger Award at IFFR and several Best Director Awards, including at the New York International Film Festival, LA FEMME International Film Festival and at LALIFF.Director Statement

Estilo Americano is a timely film about family and politics in the age of Trump. What does it mean to be Latino in today’s America? Whether one chooses to identify as Hispanic, Afro-Latino, or the increasingly popular Latinx, Latinos have yet to consolidate a powerful notion of identity-based on racial solidarity. Anti-immigrant attitudes that have been stoked in America in recent years have climaxed with ascendant white nativism and the election of Donald Trump. The film addresses the biggest current topic in the US and how Latinos continue to be targeted by racism. The story also explores the struggles that exist between generations of Latino immigrants and the lack of solidarity between Latino nationalities.

Short Film: ESTILO AMERICANO, 22min,. USA, Drama/Political Family


Estilo Americano tells the story of a Mexican-American family divided by politics. What is supposed to be a festive family gathering turns into an explosive showdown when siblings, with opposing political views, clash. Embroiled in the conflict, each family member reveals some painful truths. As everyone struggles with their own deeply ingrained beliefs, we wonder if the family can ever overcome their differences.

Project Links

  • Project Type: Short
  • Runtime: 22 minutes 14 seconds
  • Completion Date: April 3, 2020
  • Production Budget: 49,650 USD
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Country of Filming: United States
  • Language: English
  • Shooting Format: Digital
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Film Color: Black & White

In Your Arms Tonight Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from Sept. 2020 LATINO Film Festival

IN YOUR ARMS TONIGHT, 24min., USA, Drama
Directed by Jonathan Gonzales
A young maid contemplates her future after having an affair with her rich employer, who is struggling to reconnect with his wife after she was sexually assaulted over a year ago.

Rivense Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from Sept. 2020 LATINO Film Festival

RIVENSE, 34min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Alex Spilger & Amelia Spilger

Rivense is the story of Régulo, an innovative Costa Rican coffee farmer. Spanning over a decade, the film documents his quest to perfect his craft, while transforming his family’s business and creating new opportunity for his region.

September 2020 – LATINO Feedback Festival – Highlights and Videos

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:
BEST FILM: THE QUIET SHORE
BEST PERFORMANCES: IN YOUR ARMS TONIGHT
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: THE QUIET SHORE
BEST SOUND & MUSIC: RIVENSE

Theme of night: Unique surroundings

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterTHE QUIET SHORE, 28min., USA, Drama



festival posterIN YOUR ARMS TONIGHT, 24min., USA, Drama



festival posterRIVENSE, 34min., USA, Documentary



festival posterOLE, BENNI AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE, 23min., Germany, Drama/Family
festival poster8 3/4, 10min., USA, Drama/Family



festival posterMORGEN, 10min, USA, Documentary/Family



festival posterLAST LOOKS, 6min, USA, Drama



The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo