Violeta Ayala

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Violeta Ayala
Violeta Ayala in Prague 2010
Born Violeta Michelle Ayala Grageda
(1978-02-16) 16 February 1978 (age 38)
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Occupation Film director, writer, producer
Spouse(s) Dan Fallshaw (2012-present)
Children Suri Helena Blue

Violeta Ayala (born Violeta Michelle Ayala Grageda. 16 February 1978, Cochabamba, Bolivia) is a film director, producer and writer best known for the highly controversial documentary Stolen (2009),[1] that uncovers slavery in the Sahrawi refugee camps in south-western Algeria and in Western Sahara. Her most recent film, The Bolivian Case, about three Norwegian teenage girls caught with 22 kg of cocaine in Bolivia premiered in the Special Presentation Program at HotDocs,[2] one of the world’s most prestigious documentary festivals and has won an audience award at the Sydney Film Festival.[3] The film was shortlisted for Premios Platino as well as Premios Fenix, the most important awards for Spanish speaking films.

In 2006 Ayala began her collaboration with Dan Fallshaw on Between the Oil and the Deep Blue Sea, a documentary set in Mauritania, about corruption in the oil industry, that follows the investigations of world-renowned mathematician Yahyia Ould Hamidoune against Woodside Petroleum. On the same subject Ayala co-wrote Slick Operator[4] an article published in the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald.

Ayala is an alumnus of the Film Independent Documentary Lab,[5] the Berlinale Talent Campus, HotDocs Forum, Britdoc Good Pitch, IFP New York and a Tribeca Film Institute[6] Fellow. Ayala has given masterclasses at the National Film and Television School in London and at the Scottish Documentary Institute as part of the Bridging The Gap Masterclasses. Since June 2013 Ayala has been invited to host a blog at the Huffington Post as part of 12 prominent bloggers writing about the War on Drugs, that include Susan Sarandon, Arianna Huffington and Russell Simmons. Ayala is a recipient of the Bertha Britdoc Journalism Fund. and a Chicken & Egg awardee 2013.[7] Accolades include Best Feature Doc at the 2010 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles,[8] Grand Prix at the 2010 Art of the Document Film Festival in Warsaw,[9] Golden Oosikar Best Doc at the 2010 Anchorage International Film Festival,[10] Best Doc at the 2010 African Film Festival in Nigeria,[11] Audience Award at the 2010 Amnesty International Film Festival in Montreal,[12] Best Film at the 2010 Festival Internacional de Cine de Cuenca in Ecuador[13] and many more.

Early life[edit]

Ayala is a graduate of Charles Sturt University where she majored in Broadcast Journalism. She worked as a journalist at SBS Australia. Ayala has lived in Australia and the United States and has dual Bolivian-Australian nationality.

Personal life[edit]

Ayala married filmmaker partner Dan Fallshaw, with whom she has a daughter, Suri Helena Blue, who was born in June 2014


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Richard Kuipers (2009-06-11). "Stolen". Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  2. ^ "Hot Docs Announces 17 Special Presentation Screenings". Retrieved 2015-02-26. 
  3. ^ Staff Writer. "Audience award for Wide Open Sky". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  4. ^ Kate Askew and Violeta Ayala. "Slick Operator". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  5. ^ Elnaz Toussi (2012-03-16). "Film Independent's second Documentary Lab begins in LA". Screen Daily. Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  6. ^ Indiewire staff (2011-04-28). "TFI Names Winners & Grants for Tribeca All Access & More". IndieWire. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  7. ^ Bryce J. Renninger (2013-12-25). "Chicken & Egg Gives Out $220,000 to 23 Docs Directed by Women". indiewire. Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  8. ^ "Filmmaker Awards – Pan African Film and Arts Festival". Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  9. ^ "FESTIVAL WINNERS 2010". Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  10. ^ "2010 Golden Oosikar Awards". Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  11. ^ "WINNERS 2010". Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  12. ^ "2010, Audience Award Winners!". Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  13. ^ "Stolen, mejor película del Festival de Cine". Retrieved 2010-11-27.