Merope – A Journey to Authenticity
This week, Miami based filmmaker and video artist Juan Carlos Zaldivar will be in Sedona to film Merope – A Journey to Authenticity, the inaugural film that kickstarts the brand new arts initiative Reflections Festival that celebrates the very best in the performing & visual arts and enriches Sedona and Arizona’s cultural life. Merope – A Journey to Authenticity features dance & choreography by Jordan Pelliteri, visual art by Amy Ernst, Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, Jim Peterson and Glenn Grayson, poetry by Nikita Gill and Hermann Hesse, and music by composer, singer and Christel Veraart, who also wrote the story line.
A filmmaker and video artist, Zaldivar completed both his BFA and a Masters of Fine Arts at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he has also taught as an adjunct faculty. Zaldivar started his film career as a sound editor and designer, his work can be heard in Academy Nominated films such as Ang Lee’s “Sense and Sensibility”, in Nanette Burstein and Bret Morgan’s “On the ropes” and on HBO’s America Undercover, for which he garnered an Emmy nomination.
His film and video art works have been screened at many festivals, art fairs and museums worldwide and on PBS, ABC, IFC, Showtime and WE. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Warner Bros. Film Production Fund, best documentary at the NY Latino Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Nuevo Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, as well as a Silver Plaque Award at the Chicago Int’l Film Festival. His directing credits include, among others, “90 Miles” (which aired on PBS award-winning series, POV), “The Story of the Red Rose” (Sundance/Showtime), “Palingenesis” and “Soldiers Pay,” (IFC) co-directed with David O. Russell (Three Kings) and Tricia Regan.
As curator/programmer, Zaldivar co-founded and programmed The Florida Room, an event solely dedicated to social issue documentaries in Miami Beach for five years. He coordinated the Miami International Film Festival’s section “Cutting the edge”, which showcased video art and films by artists working across disciplines. He has recently co-founded the Miami Filmmakers Collective with a generous grant from the Knight Foundation and the Miami-Dade County department of Cultural Affairs.
He has served as a Juror for several mayor film festivals including the Sundance International Film Festival, The Miami International Film Festival and the IFP-NY Fledging Award and the Austin Film Society. He has served on the board of directors for NALIP (The National Association of Latino Independent Producers) and the Flaherty Film Seminar. He is a Sundance Film Institute Fellow. He has taught at Miami international University’s Institute of Art and Design. (Mini Biography By: Cynthia Lopez, POV)