One of the more innovative aspects of the Mesoamerican International Film Festival is the fact that its conception and coordination is being spearheaded by prominent professionals directly working in the TV and film industry. Moreover, these personages are all Latin, or of Latin origin, and understand well the realities facing Spanish speaking filmmakers today. Although the director of the festival, Gabriel Traversari, has focused most of his trajectory on television, he has recently become involved in the realm of cinema as well, having directed his first short film, The Tent, an entry in more than 12 international film festivals, and recently finished principal photography on his second short feature, The Observer.

Joining Traversari in the festival’s Advisory Board are people like Seth Álvarez, an award winning scriptwriter from Mexico, who has authored many films and served as academic contributor to a myriad seminars, workshops and feature articles regarding the art of the short film; Lilo Vilaplana, an Emmy winning TV director and filmmaker from Cuba, who has just completed his recent feature, Plantados, and has ample experience in both the small and large screen; Claudio Callao, a Brazilian TV director in charge of highly successful projects -particularly Soap Operas- for notable networks such as Telemundo, Univision, TV Azteca, Venevisión and SBT in Brazil; William Vela, founder and director of the prestigious Miami Short Film Festival, and who, like Traversari, has his roots in Nicaragua and is very committed to seeing the film industry in Central America finally take flight; Roberto Escobar, a popular Cuban American actor with ample experience in both, film and television and a familiar face to Spanish TV audiences in the United States. Escobar is also an important asset to this festival’s commitment to promote independent films, having served as producer and executive producer in independent films shot in Colombia; Yesid Leone, a Colombian filmmaker with over 20 short films and a couple of features under his belt and the experience of running a full-fledged film production company in his country; María José Álvarez, a central American photographer, producer and filmmaker whose extensive work has focused mostly on real life issues and whose various award winning documentaries have participated in numerous festivals the world over; Pierre Pierson, another prolific creative voice from Nicaragua who has successfully led movie, music and literary projects throughout his life; and Martha Clarissa Hernández, a filmmaker and producer of Honduran origin, who has led a long and successful career as a documentarian, TV and film director, public speaker and film festival organizer. All of these people will become an integral part of the MISFF, offering sporadic interactive seminars, workshops and live presentations, but, mostly, supporting our efforts to make our festival an exciting and sustainable experience for all involved.