Kristal Sotomayor is a bilingual Latinx documentary filmmaker, festival programmer, and freelance journalist based in Philadelphia.
Kristal is in post-production on Expanding Sanctuary, which began through the Film Scholars Fellowship with Scribe Video Center, co-sponsored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Kristal’s work has been supported by the MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Visiting Fellowship, If/Then North Shorts Residency, DCTV Docu Work-In-Progress Lab, Justice For My Sister Sci-Fi TV Screenwriting Lab, Good Pitch Local: Philadelphia Lab, and NeXtDoc Fellowship. They are a member of the filmmaking collectives SIFT Media 215 and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.
They serve as the Programming Director of the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival and have assisted with curation for the “Spotlight on Documentaries” at IFP Week, Camden International Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, and the award-winning PBS documentary series POV | American Documentary. Through their work, they have served as Curator/Juror for the 2021 Tri-Co Film Festival and were on the Jury Committee for Narrative and Documentary Shorts for the 2020 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival.
They are a Co-Founder/Journalist for ¡Presente! Media, a creative collective and production cooperative led by Latinx filmmakers that produce bilingual content focused on social justice. Kristal’s journalistic background includes having written for ITVS, AL DÍA, Autostraddle, WHYY, The Points Guy, Submittable and Documentary Magazine. Kristal is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, and TIME’S UP Critical Database.
Kristal writes the Latinx cinema column “Cine alzando voz” and serves on the Editorial Board for the film journal cinéSPEAK. They are an awardee of the Sundance Institute’s Press Inclusion Initiative, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Press Inclusion Initiative, AARP Freelance Fellowship at NLGJA | The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, the inaugural International Documentary Association (IDA) Magazine Editorial Fellowship, and a Lenfest Next Generation Fund awardee.
Drawing inspiration from their Peruvian heritage, Kristal’s community-based work practice focuses on Latinidad, immigration, and belonging. Formerly, Kristal was the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at the community media arts organization Scribe Video Center. They have received leadership training from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) Advocacy Leadership Institute and the Arts + Business Council [Virtual] Creative Exchange Program.
To My Motherland
“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
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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