The future looks bright for Aldo Velasco…
The Mexican filmmaker and playwright has been selected by Film Independent as one of the participants for its 12th annual Directing Lab.
The annual program is designed to assist promising directors develop new narrative feature films, improve their craft and advance their filmmaking careers in a nurturing yet challenging environment. The selected filmmakers are provided digital camera and sound packages and a cash stipend to shoot scenes, as well as access to a variety of production resources.
Velasco, born in Guadalajara, Mexico, has seen his short films screened at the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and Los Angeles Film Festival, among others. In 2009, he received a grant from ITVS (Independent Television Service) to write and direct the short film Tent City for the first season of the online Futurestates series. Aldo is also an editor of feature films. Recently, he edited Chittagong the epic Indian historical drama directed by Bedabrata Pain. He also edited Grace Leeʼs political mock documentary Janeane From Des Moines, which recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
Velasco will work on his project, God Love Stu, true story of Stu Rasmussen, who convinced his conservative hometown in Oregon to elect him as the first transgender mayor in history.
But Velasco isn’t the only Latino selected to the Film Independent’s Directing Lab.
Brazilian-American filmmaker Alex Moratto will take part in the lab. He’s a graduate of the UNC School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking where he was a Kenan Scholar and studied film directing under Peter Bogdanovich. His thesis film The Other Side won the 2010 Jury Award from the Directors Guild of America for Latino filmmaker. Moratto attended Werner Herzogʼs 2010 Rogue Film School Seminar and was the recipient of the 2012 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship for Screenwriting.
Moratto’s project is the Untitled Amazon Project. When armed loggers threaten to evict their family from their rural home in the Amazon, two brothers smuggle rare lumber in hopes of selling it on the black market for money to save their land.
The lab, which began this week, runs through mid-April.