SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Speaking Engagements

Kristal is a Latinx documentary filmmaker, festival programmer, and freelance journalist.

TOPICS COVERED
  • Tips and tricks for emerging and student filmmakers
  • Film festival systems, programming and curation
  • Community-based filmmaking practices and reporting
  • The intersections of solutions journalism and community media
  • Latinx, immigrant, and LGBTQIA+ film criticism and study
  • Social media marketing and crowdfunding for films
  • Protecting targeted and surveilled communities in mediamaking
IN THE PAST, I’VE SPOKEN AT
  • Public and private schools
  • Film and media nonprofits
  • Film festivals
  • Virtual and in-person events
  • Colleges and universities:
    • Bryn Mawr College
    • Haverford College
    • Temple University
    • The College of New Jersey
    • University of Pennsylvania
    • Skidmore College
    • Muhlenberg College

Testimonials

“Kristal Sotomayor joined us for an evening to view a clip of the documentary film Expanding Sanctuary, and to discuss their experiences navigating the complexity of identity, belonging and representation. 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 in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design

“Kristal joined the LVAIC Documentary Storymaking Capstone class to engage five student-filmmakers in an expansive conversation on navigating the documentary industry. They 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

Past Speaking Engagements


Queering Latinx/Latinx Queering: Imagining Inclusive Urban Spaces

A fireside chat with Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (author of The Undocumented Americans) moderated by Kareli Lizarraga (Associate Director for the Center of Hispanic Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania) as part of the Transdisciplinary Urbanism in Times of Precarity Lecture Series, sponsored by the LGBT Center, La Casa Latina, the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and the Provost Office’s Initiative in Excellence through Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania

Digital Co-Next (Digital Storytelling Class) Special Guest

Special guest speaker for an online Youth Leadership program in Allentown, PA focused on digital storytelling for high school students.

Philm Factory Film Festival Lounge Panelist

Featured fellow programmers at the The Women’s Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Society, Philadelphia Indie Film Festival, Philadelphia Spotlight Youth Film Festival, and A Very Black Film Festival.

Decolonizing Visual Anthropology Course Speaker

Speaking to the Decolonizing Visual Anthropology course at Haverford College in the Visual Studies and Anthropology Department. Topics included filmmaking, film festival curation, and distribution.

Behind The Screens Panelist

Panelist at “Behind The Screens” hosted by the Temple Department of Film and Media Arts, Temple Queer Film Collective, and Mise-en-Femme Productions. Topics included diversity in media and tips for emerging filmmakers.

A Conversation With… Panelist

Panelist at “A Conversation With…” hosted by Independent Film Association of Philadelphia. Other panelists include Jezabel Montero, Tiffany Yancy, Christina Faith, Jillian Bullock, Tia Dreher. Topics included emerging filmmaking and impact distribution strategies.

Q&A session between Kristal Sotomayor, the Programming Director at PHLAFF, and Alberto Gomez Pena, director of the film Ríos de Ceniza (Rivers of Ash).

Additional Speaking Engagements


  • Active Subjects panel as part of the 2021 MDOCS Forum and Storytellers’ Institute at Skidmore College
  • Doc Storymaking program a collaborative program between three different universities (Lafayette College, Lehigh University, and Muhlenberg College)
  • “Terms of En-Queer-Ment: A history of the movies and LGBTQ+ Identity” course at The College of New Jersey
  • Career & Civic Engagement Office’s Alumnae/i in Residence program at Bryn Mawr College
  • “Independent Strategies” course on post-university film producing and film careers at the University of the Arts
  • Led a Spanish-language Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant Info Session

PHLAFF2021 Q&A Session: The Film Fatales

Please enjoy this Q&A session between Kristal Sotomayor, the Programing Director at PHLAFF, the founder of the Film Fatales, Leah Meyerhoff, and various female and non-binary filmmakers. Film Fatales is a non-profit film organization that supports women and non-binary individuals working in the film industry.

PHLAFF2021 Q&A Session: Femme Frontera Showcase

The Philadelphia Latino Film Festival and PhillyCAM present the Femme Frontera Filmmaker Showcase.

Queer Coming of Age Stories Conversation at the 2020 Philadelphia Latino Film Festival

This conversation features first-time feature director Patricia Vidal Delgado and actress Monica Betancourt of La Leyenda Negra. The film follows teenage Aleteia who has just transferred to a new high school in Compton and struggles to make friends.

Spider Moth Butterfly Q&A at the 2020 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Inspired by the question of why we love, what we love, and how we should love it, Spider Moth Butterfly observes a traveling circus whose young circus master—fueled by her sense of responsibility towards their goal and her self-righteous self-assurance—leads the group in its collective quest for the highest point of excellence in their craft.

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