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Rodrigo Dorfman (born 1967 in Santiago, Chile) is a multimedia award-winning filmmaker and producer living in Durham, North Carolina. He has worked with POV, HBO, Salma Hayek's Ventanazul and the BBC among others. His films have been screened at some of the top international film festivals in the world (Toronto, Full Frame, Edinburgh, Telluride, Human Rights Watch).
For the past 20 years, Rodrigo Dorfman has been documenting the emerging Latino community in North Carolina through a series of hybrid educational/neo-realist films (Angelica's Dreams and Roberto's Dreams) and VIVA LA COOPERATIVA - a feature documentary on the history of the first Latino Credit Union in the US. Angelica’s Dreams (2008), won a Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility. His latest work can be seen at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in “NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South”, a national touring museum exhibit based on his documentary work. He received a MUSE Award in Media and Technology from the AMA for his work on the Nuevolution! Exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South.
Rodrigo Dorfman also works locally in North Carolina creating short documentaries with NC Arts Council (Heritage Awards) and the Wake County Magnet Schools.
As a multimedia producer he has created a series of online documentaries: Gnawa Stories; Kid Gloves for handling abducted children; American Shadows for POV; In the Footsteps of September 11; Latin American Multimedia Initiative.
As a screenwriter, Rodrigo Dorfman won, with his father, the 1996 Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for best television screenplay for a BBC VJ Day special called Prisoners in Time, starring John Hurt. That was followed in 1998, with Deadline, a movie for Channel 4, England, shown as part of the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Declaration of Human Rights. Konfidenz, a radio play for the BBC, which he co-wrote with his father, was aired in England in Spring 2001. He also co-wrote Shaheed, for the BBC, a teleplay on suicide bombers, Los Angeles Open City, a pilot for HBO on Latinos in Los Angeles, and Blake's Therapy for Salma Hayek's company Ventanazul.
Rodrigo's first feature documentary Generation Exile (2010) premiered at Full Frame in 2010 and then went on to screen at the SANFIC 6. It was awarded the LASA (Latin America Studies Association) Merit Award in Film in 2011.Rodrigo won the Full Frame Jury Award for the Best Short in 2011 for his jazz documentary, One Night in Kernersville. Tommy! The Dreams I Keep Inside Me, his 30-minute documentary on a 60-year-old man on the autism spectrum who dreams of singing with a big band was recently broadcast nationwide through UNCTV’s Southern Reel series. The first in part of his Resistance Trilogy documentaries, Occupy the Imagination: Tales of Resistance and Seduction premiered in SANFIC Santiago International Film Festival (2013) where it received Special Jury Mention. The film went on to screen at the Havana International Film Festival. He is the editor and cinematographer of the documentary Always in Season about the impact of lynching on four different communities and is currently in production with This Taco Truck Kills Fascists, a documentary on a Revolutionary Taco Truck Theatre in New Orleans. He is also developing FIESTA! STORIES, a digital series on quinceañeras for ITVS.
Rodrigo has contributed to Andre Codrescu’s Exquisite Corpse and the Durham Herald-Sun’s award-winning bilingual page "Nuestro Pueblo"; he was the Triangle’s Spectator Magazine’s film critic (2000–01) and a commentator for WUNC Radio. His photographs have been published in the Style Section of the Washington Post and Global Rhythm Magazine.
- 1997 – My House is on Fire (18:00)
- 2004 – Missing Heather (15:00)
- 2005 – Security – Exile – Identity: Three shorts of POV
- 2006 – Weaving Dreams: An immigrant Woman’s Collective (13:00)
- 2007 – Angelica’s Dreams (82:30)
- 2008 – CartWheels: Art on the Move (15:00)
- 2008 – Voices Together (12:00)
- 2008 – Back to Deoband: The Jihad of Ebrahim Moosa (15:00)
- 2010 – Roberto’s Dreams (105:00)
- 2010 – !VIVA LA COOPERATIVA! (65:00)
- 2011 – Generation Exile (70:00)
- 2011 - One Night in Kernersville (20:00)
- 2012 - Monsieur Contraste (62:00)
- 2013 - Occupy the Imagination (90:00)
- 2014 - Tommy! The Dreams I Keep Inside Me (30:00)
- 2017 - And the Children Will Burn (13.40)
- 2017 - This Taco Truck Kills Fascists (in production)
- 2007 – A Promise to the Dead (90:00)
- 1996 – Prisoners in Time (BBC)
- 1998 – Deadline (Channel 4, England)
- 2000 – Los Angeles Open City (HBO)
- 2006 – Shaheed (BBC)
- 2008 – Blake’s Therapy (Salma Hayek/Ventanazul)
Awards and distinctions
- Best Screenplay Award – Writer’s Guild of Great Britain (1997)
- Roy H. Park Fellowship – UNC School of Journalism (2001-2003)
- Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility – for Angelica’s Dreams (2008)
- LASA (Latin America Studies Association) Merit Award in Film for Generation Exile
- Full Frame Best Short Jury Award for One Night in Kernersville (2011)
- Best Cinematography Award, Charlotte Film Festival for One Night in Kernersville (2012)
- Special Jury Mention SANFIC 9 – Santiago International Film Festival (2013) for Occupy the Imagination (2013)
- MUSE Award in Media and Technology from the AMA for his work on Nuevolution! Exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South