Zachary Laoutides

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Zachary Laoutides
Zachary Laoutides in 2019.jpg
Laoutides in 2019
Born (1986-12-13) December 13, 1986 (age 34)
Chicago, Illinois, US
NationalityUnited States, Mexico, Israel[1][2]
  • Actor
  • screenwriter
  • filmmaker
Years active2005–present

Zachary Laoutides (born December 13, 1986) is an American actor, screenwriter and filmmaker from Chicago, Illinois. In 2014, he co-founded independent film company Ave Fenix Pictures, the first Latino film studio in Chicago[3] and originator of an art house filmmaking style known as "la raza".[4][5][6] Inspired by La raza cósmica, this technique involves working together with the urban youth in recreating their own stories, regardless of film background.[7][8]

His first starring role was in the film Adiós Vaya con Dios (2014), which earned him nominations for Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the Bel Air Film Festival.[9] He also wrote and acted in Ave Fenix Pictures' Arise from Darkness (2018), based on the story of psychic Lázaro Rubén Torres,[4] and Black Ruby (2019), claimed to be the "first feature to be shot on an iPhone 7."[10]

Early life[edit]

Laoutides was born in 1986 in Chicago where he studied media and journalism. He spent his early years working in community outreach and introducing the performing arts to youth at risk.[11] He resides in Chicago and is still active in community outreach working with Mónica Esmeralda León.[7]

He is of Sephardic, Greek, Turkish and Slovenian heritage.[12][13][14] Laoutides surname originates from the Arabic musical instrument oud; his paternal grandmother's family was from the Aegean Islands and the Biblical town of Smyrna, the Mizrahim Sephardi-proper communities of Turkey modern day Izmir.[15] His Eastern European ancestry were ethnic minorities from the Austrian Empire and Russia Empire; Slovenian with some Polish and Scandinavian. His Jewish heritage traces back to Levite rabbinical families Halevi and Benveniste of the 11th to the 15th century in Barcelona. His background includes Moroccan Jewish, Indian Jewish and distant Latino roots from his father’s grandmother[14]

Laoutides holds three nationalities, namely American, Mexican, and Israeli.[1][2]


Laoutides's first role was in Adiós Vaya con Dios, released worldwide by Indican Pictures on January 19, 2016.[16] Laoutides starred in the film and wrote the screenplay while living in an urban Latino neighborhood, about a half white and half Mexican gang member trying to leave the barrio.[8] Adiós Vaya con Dios was the first movie to use real gangs and streets artists.[17] Laoutides was nominated as Best Actor and Best Screenplay writer at the Bel Air Film Festival where Adiós Vaya con Dios earned an Official Selection and Runner-up for Best Audience Feature Film.[9]

He was also the finalist out of Chicago for Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment nationwide talent search for new actors.[18]

Laoutides was a musician on the Adiós Vaya con Dios soundtrack, composing and producing several songs. The movie was first to integrate a British and Mexican rock soundtrack over a Latino urbanized film.[19]

In 2014 Laoutides co-founded Ave Fenix Pictures with Mónica Esmeralda León.[20] Ave Fenix Pictures is the first Latino film studio in Chicago.[18][21][22]

In 2016 Laoutides wrote and starred in Arise from Darkness, an official selection at Film Invasion L.A. based on true events in the early life of psychic Lázaro Rubén Torres, who was declared clinically dead five times .[23][24] Laoutides composed and produced several tracks for the movie's soundtrack.[25] Laoutides was nominated for Best Screenplay and shared in the nominations for Best Feature Film and Best Director.[24][26] The film received three four stars reviews from, Inquisitr, and The Levity Ball, with critics comparing Laoutides performance to the opening of Javier Bardem's character Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men (film).[26][27]

In 2017 Laoutides premiered the film Black Ruby at the London Independent Film Awards. The company claimed it was the first to be shot with an iPhone 7.[10] He earned nine nominations in London[28] and Rome.[12] Laoutides also changed his eye color, skin tone, and hair color for his role in the movie.[12] His performance was compared with Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando.[29]

The Los Angeles Film Forum Awards critics called him "the best natural independent actor of 2018 and a master at subtlety."[12] He was named one of the Top Indie actors to look for in 2019.[12]

Laoutides being referred as a “method actor”, whose schooling was in journalism and sees acting as an extension using research to create his characters.[15] He was compared to a young independent dark version of Ryan Gosling at the Los Angeles Film Festival.[12]

In September 2020, Laoutides was cast along with Jaime Zevallos and Alexander James Rodriguez in the upcoming film "Where Sweet Dreams Die."[30]


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Let's Go to Prison Mexican gang member
2016 Adiós Vaya con Dios Rory King Nominated—Bel Air Film Festival: Best Actor
Nominated—Bel Air Film Festival: Best Screenplay
2018 Arise from Darkness Lázaro Nominated—Film Invasion L.A.: Best Actor
Nominated—Film Invasion L.A.: Best Screenplay
2019 Black Ruby Louis Katz Nominated—London Independent Film Festival: Best Director
Nominated—London Independent Film Festival: Best Actor
Nominated—London Independent Film Festival: Best Screenplay
Nominated—London Independent Film Festival: Best Feature Film
Nominated—London Independent Film Festival: Best International Actor
Nominated—London Independent Film Festival: Best Foreign Feature Film

Nominated—Rome Film Awards: Best Actor
Nominated—Rome Film Awards: Best International Film
Nominated—Rome Film Awards: Best Director
Nominated—Rome Film Awards: Best Feature
Nominated—Rome Film Awards: Best Writer
Nominated—Rome Film Awards: Best Foreign Actor

Los Angeles Film Forum
Won—Los Angeles Film Forum: Best Actor
Won—Los Angeles Film Forum: Independent Spirit Award
Won—Los Angeles Film Forum: Best Adapted Screenplay Feature

2020 Where Sweet Dreams Die Unknown Upcoming Film [30]
2021 And They Called Her Paradisa Unknown Upcoming Film [31][30]
Year Title Role Notes
2005-06 Prison Break Prisoner
2006 Triple Cross: Bin Laden's Spy in America Wadih el-Hage National Geographic TV documentary


  1. ^ a b Chavez, Ronnie (November 24, 2018). "Napkins to Prospects: Zachary Laoutides peaks indie actors to watch in 2019". Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b The Odyssey Online.
  3. ^ "Entertainment Leaders Changing The Appearance of Film's Future". Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Stabile, Ryan (March 14, 2016). "Interview with 'Adios Vaya con Dios' Actor Zachary Laoutides". Inquisitr. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  5. ^ Award-winning Latino filmmakers thrive in Aurora ABC 7 Chicago Retrieved August 25, 2016
  6. ^ "Art with Purpose: Interviewing Ave Fenix Pictures". Mogul. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "La actriz, productora y directora Mónica Esmeralda León unificando artistas alrededor del mundo". Huellas de México (in Spanish). March 25, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "La Revolución en las Calles de Zachary Loutides". Huellas De Mexico (in Spanish). April 24, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  9. ^ a b The dynamic young founders of Ave Fenix Pictures, which entertainment folks describe as one of the first Latino film studio in the Chicago area Chicago Tribune Retrieved August 25, 2016
  10. ^ a b Gibson, Bradley (March 28, 2019). "Reviews: Black Ruby". Film Threat. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  11. ^ Former Joliet man hoping to inspire young people through film he wrote and shot The Herald News Retrieved August 25, 2016
  12. ^ a b c d e f Chavez, Renee (July 12, 2018). "Napkins to Prospects: Zachary Laoutides peaks indie actors to watch in 2019". Medium. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  13. ^ STAFF, BAE (May 19, 2016). "Zachary Laoutides The Emerging Performance". Bae Daily. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  14. ^ a b "'Race, religion and violence haven't been more poetic and amusing.' Talking Diversity with Zachary Laoutides". Mogul. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  15. ^ a b López, Sandra (March 10, 2020). "The Method: Implementing & Inspirations". Odyssey. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  16. ^ Producers credit the people of Aurora for movie's success Chicago Tribune Retrieved August 25, 2016
  17. ^ The first ever award winning film made by Chicago Latino gangs Costa Rican Times Retrieved August 25, 2016
  18. ^ a b Crosby, Denise. "Producers credit the people of Aurora for movie's success". Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  19. ^ "Adios Vaya Con Dios Soundtrack as compelling as the movie - AXS". December 2, 2018. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  20. ^ Laoutides ha estado en las noticias recientemente, es un actor y escritor cuya asociación con Ave Fenix Pictures Huellas De Mexico Retrieved August 25, 2016
  21. ^ One of the nation's most successful Hispanic production companies is thriving in the Western Suburbs ABC Eyewitness Retrieved August 25, 2016
  22. ^ "Aurora Home To Only Latina Owned Movie Studio In Midwest". WBEZ Chicago.
  23. ^ "Chicagoland's own Latino film studio making its mark in cinema". WGN-TV. October 13, 2016. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Crosby, Denise. "Fox Valley shooting for new film fest, more local movies". Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  25. ^ "'When my Eyes go Dark' has a soundtrack that will keep you awake - AXS". August 31, 2018. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Arise From Darkness: The Voices of Psychic Lazaro Torres Releases Worldwide 2017". Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  27. ^ "Arise From Darkness: The ominous life of a psychic captured through voices and soundtrack. - AXS". June 7, 2020. Archived from the original on June 7, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  28. ^ News, Bdaily Business. "Production company joins forces Manchester, Glasgow, Chicago". Bdaily Business News. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  29. ^ Akorede, Shakir (March 12, 2017). "Brando And Montgomery Clift Performances In First Iphone7 Film". Huffington Post. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  30. ^ a b c Hipes, Patrick (September 10, 2020). "Indie 'Where Sweet Dreams Die' Sets Cast; Rom-Com 'They/Them/Us' Wraps Shoot During COVID-19; Danny Trejo & More Star In 'The Shift' – Film Briefs". Deadline. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  31. ^ Voice, Brand (November 7, 2020). "The Oscars' New Diversity Rules Opening Doors, but how much?". Yahoo News. Retrieved November 9, 2020.

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