Sylvia Perel is the founder of the International Latino Film Festival -San Francisco Bay Area and the Festival de Cine Latino de Todos Santos, Baja California (Mexico).
She curates Latino programs for major international festivals including the Festival Latinoamericano di Trieste (Italy), and the Territorio Latinoamericano program for the prestigious Festival de Málaga (Spain), as well as Cinequest in San Jose. Sylvia is a regularly invited as a Juror for major international and local film festivals such as Frameline (San Francisco), DOCSDF (Mexico), Carmona Film Fest (Spain), and Malaga Film Festival (Spain).
Hailing from Argentina, Sylvia received a degree in Art History from the University of Buenos Aires where she went on to teach art and film history. In 1997, Sylvia founded her first film festival in the Bay Area to give voice to Latino cultural expression through the powerful medium of film. Now in its 11th year, the International Latino Film Festival – San Francisco Bay Area is a major event on the global film calendar. Her programming brings audiences a fresh, meaningful, non-stereotypical view of the Latino experience, with focuses on women in film, the immigrant experience, the Jewish experience in Latin America, environmental, and an LGTB program (that this year will feature GLUE, the winner of Frameline 07’s First Feature Award).
After the success of her first festival, ELEVEN years ago, Sylvia created the award-winning “Youth in Video” program, where minority and at-risk youth learn the art of filmmaking, digital technology, and are encouraged to pursue higher education. Hundreds of disadvantaged Latino youth in San Rafael, Novato, Oakland and Buenos Aires, have studied the art of filmmaking with respected Latino directors. The result is over 30 films, many of them internationally awarded. To further champion young Latino voices, Sylvia founded the National Emerging Latino Filmmakers Conference, with its second edition taking place in November, 2007.
Thanks to Sylvia’s passion and commitment, the International Latino Film Festival has established ties with major film festivals such as Festival International de Cine en Guadalajara (Mexico), Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Festival Latinoamericano di Trieste (Italy), and Latino film festivals in Chicago, San Diego and Los Angeles.
With dedication to the advancement of the Latino presence in the art of filmmaking, Sylvia is transforming the lives of many in the Bay Area and beyond with her tireless work and creative vision.