Kristal Sotomayor is a bilingual Latinx documentary filmmaker, programmer, and freelance journalist based in Philadelphia.
To My Motherland
Alx Through the Labyrinth
Kristal is in-production on Expanding Sanctuary and in-development on Alx Through The Labyrinth. Their work has been supported by the If/Then North Shorts Residency, MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Visiting Fellowship, BAVC Serial Storytelling Lab, DCTV Docu Work-In-Progress Lab, Justice For My Sister Sci-Fi TV Screenwriting Lab, Good Pitch Local: Philadelphia Lab, Independence Public Media Foundation, and NeXtDoc Fellowship.
Programmer & Curator
They serve as the Awards Competition Manager of the IDA Documentary Awards and the Programming Director of the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival. In the past, they have assisted with curation for SFFILM, Tri-Co Film Festival, “Spotlight on Documentaries” at IFP Week, Camden International Film Festival, and the award-winning PBS documentary series POV | American Documentary. They are a Film Festival Leadership Lab Fellow through the Film Festival Alliance.
Journalist & Film Critic
Kristal’s journalistic background includes having written for ITVS, AL DÍA, WHYY, and Documentary Magazine. They are a Co-Founder and Journalist for the collective ¡Presente! Media and a member of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics. They write the Latinx cinema column “Cine alzando voz” and serve on the Editorial Board for the film journal cinéSPEAK. Kristal is a Constellation News Leadership Initiative Fellow as part of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Drawing inspiration from their Peruvian heritage, Kristal’s community-based work practice focuses on Latinidad, immigration, and belonging. They are an organizer for The Video Consortium: Philadelphia. Formerly, Kristal was the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at the community media arts organization Scribe Video Center. They have received leadership training from the NALAC Advocacy Leadership Institute and the Arts + Business Council [Virtual] Creative Exchange Program.
“Although this event was virtual, Kristal was an engaging participant with honest and poignant responses. We look forward to being able to host Kristal Sotomayor again at the University of Pennsylvania.”
– Akira Drake Rodriguez, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania
“Kristal led an impactful hour-long discussion, responding to students’ questions around form, process, and ethics in their film, Expanding Sanctuary, and lending critical insight to building a career as an artist.”
– Drew Swedberg, Teaching Assistant for the Doc Storymaking program at Muhlenberg College
The American Masters documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, directed by Mariem Pérez Riera,paints a detailed picture of icon Rita Moreno’s background, challenges and successes. Read More
Philadelphia Has a Long History of Fights Over Criminal – Independent Lens
In order to understand the rich history of criminal reform work, up through the vivid stories of crime and punishment presented in the docuseries Philly D.A., it is important to recognize Philadelphia’s origin story, as it were. Read More
Sundance and TIFF Press Inclusion Initiatives: Reflections from an Awardee – Documentary Magazine
While I am thankful for the continued support, the Sundance Press Inclusion Initiative has proven to be a vital, albeit flawed, program for underrepresented film critics to cover the Sundance Film Festival. Read More
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