Gabriela Calvache and José María Cabral Selected as Participants in the 2019 Universal's Directors Initiative


Latin American filmmakers Gabriela Calvache from Ecuador and José María Cabral from the Dominican Republic have been announced as two of the 17 participants taking place in the 2019 Directors Initiative presented by Universal’s Global Talent Development and Inclusion. Calvache and Cabral are participating in the initiative as part of an alliance with the New York Latino Film Festival.

The Directors Initiative, now in its third edition, is aimed to expose highly-qualified filmmakers to various divisions of NBCUniversal and for them to gain valuable insights on potential directing opportunities at the company.  It was launched in 2017 in collaboration with Sundance Institute’s FilmTwo Fellowship and AFI Directing Workshop for Women. The program kicked off today to with a week-long program, which includes in-depth sessions with executives from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Calvache premiered her debut feature La Mala Noche in the official competition at this year’s edition of the SXSW Film Festival, and has played at numerous film festivals including Guadalajara, Edinburgh and the New York Latino, where it won the Best International Feature Award. The film has been recently selected as the Ecuadorian Oscar candidate for Best International Feature.

Born in 1988 in Santo Domingo, Cabral has directed seven featured films. He’s best known for his 2017 film Woodpeckers / Carpinteros, which premiered in the official competition at the Sundance Film Festival. His most recent film The Projectionist / El proyeccionista premiered at the Miami International Film Festival early this year. Three of his films have been selected as the Dominican Republic Oscar candidates: Jaque Mate (2012), Woodpeckers and The Projectionist.