About

Kristal Sotomayor is a bilingual Latinx documentary filmmaker, festival programmer, and freelance journalist based in Philadelphia, PA.


Kristal Sotomayor is a bilingual Latinx documentary filmmaker, festival programmer, and freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. Drawing inspiration from their Peruvian heritage, Kristal’s community-based work practice focuses on Latinidad, immigration, and belonging. They practice transformative filmmaking that humanizes and validates the lived experiences of underrepresented communities.

Currently, Kristal is in post-production on EXPANDING SANCTUARY, an independent short documentary about the historic end to police surveillance organized by nonprofit Juntos and the Latinx immigrant community in South Philadelphia. The documentary began through the Film Scholars Fellowship with Scribe Video Center, co-sponsored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Kristal is a 2020 DCTV Docu Work-In-Progress Lab Fellow, 2020 IF/Then North Shorts Resident and Grantee, 2020 Justice For My Sister Sci-Fi TV Screenwriting Lab Fellow, 2019 Good Pitch Local: Philadelphia grantee, 2018 Leeway Foundation Art & Change grantee, and 2017 NeXtDoc Fellow. They are a member of the filmmaking collective SIFT Media 215.

They serve as the Programming Director of the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival (PHLAFF) and are a Co-Founder of ¡Presente! Media, a collective led by Latinx filmmakers that produce bilingual content focused on social justice. Formerly, Kristal was the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at Scribe Video Center. In the past, they 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.

Kristal’s journalistic background includes having written for ITVS, AL DÍA, WHYY, and Documentary Magazine. They have been awarded the TIFF Media Inclusion Initiative, Sundance Institute Press Inclusion Initiative, the inaugural International Documentary Association (IDA) Magazine Editorial Fellowship, AARP Freelance Fellowship at NLGJA | The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and Lenfest Next Generation Fund. Kristal is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, and TIME’S UP Critical Database.

At Bryn Mawr College, Kristal was the Head of the Film Series Committee, curating twice-weekly film screenings on campus and writing film reviews. They were the Founder and Co-President of the Filmmakers Association that united student filmmakers and provided workshops on filmmaking basics. Through the Filmmakers Association, they established the first 48 Hour Film Festival, where groups of students create films in a 48 hour timespan. Their thesis short film To My Motherland, about their experiences being a first generation Latinx, has screened at film festivals across the globe and streamed on Comcast Xfinity.


ACCOLADES
If/Then, Points North, LEF Foundation, and Screening Room North Shorts Residency and Grant

2020

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Press Inclusion Initiative

2020

NALIP Emerging Content Creators Scholarship

2020

Double Exposure Film Festival Scholarship

2020 & 2018

Scribe Video Center Philadelphia Independent Media Finishing Fund

2020

Leeway Foundation Arts & Change Grant

2019

Scribe Video Center co-presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Film Scholar Program

2017

DCTV Docu Work-In-Progress Lab

2020

NBC University Visual Storytelling During Breaking News

2020

NLGJA | The Association of LGBTQ Journalists AARP Freelance Fellowship

2020

Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the​ Visual Arts The Velocity Fund

2020

Doc Society’s Good Pitch Local: Philadelphia Media Maker Grant

2019

HCAH Flaherty Seminar Student Fellowship

2017

Bryn Mawr College Film Studies Department Film Studies Fellowship

2017

Haverford College Digital Storytelling Workshop

2016

Sundance Film Institute Press Inclusion Initiative

2020

International Documentary Association (IDA) Documentary Magazine Editorial Fellowship

2020

Justice For My Sister Black, Indigenous, People of Color Sci-Fi Screenwriting Lab

2020

Lenfest Institute For Journalism Next Generation Fund

2020

Doc Society’s Good Pitch Local: Philadelphia Media Maker Presenter

2020 & 2018

Public Radio Exchange (PRX) Podcasting for Journalists Intensive

2020

Youth Fx & The Carey Institute NextDoc Fellowship

2017


Affiliations
National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Melacast
YouthFX
New York City Women Filmmakers
Brown Girls Doc Mafia
NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists
Sisters in Film and Television (SIFT) Media 215
Scribe Video Center
Global Impact Producers Group
Ghetto Film School Roster
CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia


Let’s build something together.