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Meet Daniel Garcia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Garcia.

Daniel, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a Peruvian filmmaker and educator dedicated to the development of visual storytelling curricula and socially relevant filmmaking. I have an MFA degree in film production from Ohio University, an MA in Communication from Wheaton College, and a BA in linguistics and literature from The Pontific Catholic University of Perú at Lima.

After finishing studies in linguistics and Literature Back in Perú, I work in advertising for three years during the time in which I initiated my love for filmmaking. My creative work includes the documentaries Lurigancho, Drawings and War and The Gift of All, on the struggles of the gay community and other minority inmates in Perús most notorious jail, the violent journey of children abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, and the history of philanthropy in West Michigan respectively.

My narrative piece, Pescadora, brings attention to the realities of the women living in the fishing villages of the Pacific coast of South America and my latest short film, Tempestad, looks at the complex hardship in the life of an undocumented family in the DFW area.

I have been fortunate to have my films screened in national and international film festivals, academic conferences, and broadcasted on regional PBS stations and on Peruvian national television as well as winning multiple awards, including The Boston International Latino Film Festival and the HBO New York Latino International Film Festival.

I currently teach at the University of Texas at Arlington’s Art and Art History department in the film and video area. Previously I have been an associate professor and head of the video production programs at Calvin College and Spring Hill College. I have also taught courses in Latin American political film history in various universities in the US as well as given workshops on visual storytelling, scriptwriting and video editing in Latin America, Africa, and Europe.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I do not believe in smooth roads as a path of growth. Nothing can be smooth if one is doing something new. I have been very fortunate by obstacles and by a continuous need of adapting myself to new situations. I grew up a family with very limited resources in a very poor country… However, I was immensely blessed by having parents who knew how to invest in their relationship with us kids and how do work hard, safe and prioritize.

Even though I grew up in a very difficult time during the history of the country (I went to school and college during the times of the terrorist war of the Shining Path) my parents supported me when I decided to study literature (what in the US is an English major).

Coming to the states, learning a second language surviving is an international student without much money and learn how to balance my filmmaking, and my passion for teaching has been and still is a process of growth. Every project is full of problems to be solved and new situations to adapt to. Learning to welcome all of that is an important part of growing creatively as well.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Some specific information about this you will find in the first question.

I’m currently an assistant professor of screenwriting and film production at the art and art history department of the University of Texas at Arlington. I am the faculty in charge of that screenwriting classes also serve as an advisor of our film graduate students.

As a filmmaker, I am currently working in tinctures and products both of which are in, and I’m also working in the development of a comedy series and to feature film projects one in Latin America and one here in Dallas.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My current projects are the most important part of what I’m looking forward in the next year and a half. The feature film project I’m working locally is based on my most recent short film Tempestad which explores the life of an extraordinary talented Mexican-American teenager needs to find his space and his voice while helping his family survive.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
David Lary

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