The Americas Award Jurors

All screenings are free and open to the public
*The opening night and the awards ceremony/closing require invitation and RSVP respectively

Kavery Kaul makes documentary films driven by characters who challenge assumptions about who they are. Through an intimate lens, she crafts stories which straddle different realities and apparent contradictions. She explores timely issues and timeless themes. Her credits include FIRST LOOK and BACK WALKING FORWARD. Her films screened in theaters, television, at Sydney, Telluride, and London festivals. Awarded a Proclamation of Excellence (NYC), her TEDx Talk points to the importance of stories that connect people.

Carlos Velásquez Torres (Colombia, Bogotá, 1969) is a poet, translator and scholar. He earned his PhD at University of Arizona. He has published two poetry books: Vesos del insilio (1999) & Es de tontos el regreso (2004). He is currently teaching at New Mexico Highlands University.

Alvaro Baquero is an Assistant Professor at The City University of New York/College of Staten Island. He was a board member of the Film Studies section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) from 2013 to 2016. His recent publications include work on films from Brazil, Colombia, Spain, and Mexico.

Francisco Lupini is a Venezuelan/Spanish filmmaker based in New York City. He received his BFA in Film and TV Production as well as Dramatic Literature from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Over the past 5 years Francisco's films have earned him over 60 Official Festival Selections around the world. He has received multiple Audience Awards and recognitions at festivals like the Palm Springs International Short Fest, Chicago Latino Film Festival, Costa Rica Film Festival and the Director’s Guild of America. His first feature film titled, I Killed My Husband!, was released in cinemas in the US on March 2019 and is now available in all digital platforms. 

Puy Navarro is an actress and writer currently living in NYC. As an actress, Puy has worked internationally with renowned directors such as Stephen Daldry, Luis García Berlanga and Jorge Alí Triana. She began writing when she felt the need to turn the play she had produced at the United Nations into a film script. Puy’s script “Life is a dream” was finalist at Sundance Writer’s Lab in 2014, and it was selected by Dreamago’s International Writers Lab in the same year. In 2018, Puy was invited to a pitch session in Los Angeles by Dreamago’s program Meet your Match. In 2016 her play “Else and Henry,” was awarded the Third Prize in the Metlife Foundation’s national writers’ competition Our Voices. She has worked for the Rubin Museum of Art as a Story Teller for their Sleepovers. She has written short stories and has performed for “The Moth” at their community programs. Puy studied the Master in Creative Writing at NYU, Department of Spanish and Portuguese with Antonio Muñoz Molina and screenwriting at NYU TIsch, with Paul Thompson.

Richard A. Stein was initially trained in medicine and molecular biology, a background that opened his interest in socially relevant topics and fueled his passion for storytelling through film. He is a producer, screenwriter, and director. Some of the projects that Richard has been involved with include BEI BEI, the story of a Chinese lady who attempted to commit suicide while pregnant and was put on trial under the Indiana feticide laws; LITTLE MISS WESTIE, an intimate portrait about two transgender siblings; 2 WEEKS, which portrays the second coming out of a woman torn between the commitment she made when she fell in love and her career in an industry that perpetuates worth based on sex-appeal; and MUTINY, in which a young reporter discovers a terrifying disease that spreads through social media. Richard serves on the Advisory Board and is a programmer of the Chelsea Film Festival in New York City, and for the past two years he co-chaired the Women in Power program that celebrates the opening of the festival.

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