Filmmaker Bio (Long, 381 words)
Born in Ecuador, Felix Endara is a transgender New York-based independent filmmaker, programmer, and arts administrator whose films have screened at festivals including Berlin, Frameline, Outfest, NewFest, DOC NYC, and Mill Valley. From 2008 to 2012, he programmed Arts Engine’s documentary screening series DocuClub, which he toured to Mexico City and Silver Spring, Maryland. In 2010, he was a fellow at the IFP Documentary Finishing Lab (2010) as producer for WILDNESS (2012, Dir: Wu Tsang), which follows the trajectory of a gay male bar in Los Angeles as its transforms into a refuge for immigrant Latina transgender women. It premiered at MoMa’s Documentary Fortnight series in February 2012, was an official selection at SXSW, and screened at the Whitney Biennial later that year. He also produced ARTICLE OF FAITH (2011, Dir: Christina Antonakos-Wallace), which received the “Changemaker Award” at the Media That Matters film festival in 2011. The short portrays anti-bullying Sikh activist Sonny Singh and his fight to ban discrimination in New York City schools. In addition, he participated in Working Films/Fledgling Fund’s first Reel Engagement workshop (July 2010), focusing on outreach and audience engagement; and in documentary trainings at Dok-Leipzig’s Co-Production Meetings (October 2011), in Germany; and Amsterdam’s IDFA Academy (November 2011). He has been a reviewer for P.O.V., Tribeca All Access, NewFest, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and the New York Asian American International Film Festival; and an advisor for Cinereach Reach Fellows. In 2013, he served as a jury member of the New Orleans Film Festival.
Felix has a long and consistent track record of producing innovative, thought-provoking media of consequence that has screened at prestigious film festivals around the world. Topics he has covered have ranged from the preservation and celebration of LGBT historical spaces to character portraits of activists who rise up to the challenges of fighting prejudice and violence. In addition, his work as an independent programmer and arts administrator draws on his values to champion art that functions as a catalyst for social change.
GRIT & GRIND, his most recent short documentary, tells the story of the Clit Club, an edgy lesbian club set in New York’s Meatpacking District in the 1990s, as the city struggled with the AIDS epidemic. The film had its debut at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2014.
Filmmaker Bio (Short, 77 words)
Ecuadorian filmmaker Felix Endara claims a long and consistent track record of producing innovative, thought-provoking media that has screened at prestigious film festivals such as Berlinale, DOC NYC, and Mill Valley. Topics he has covered have ranged from the preservation of LGBT historical spaces to portrayals of activists who challenge prejudice and violence. His work as an independent programmer and arts administrator draw on his values to champion art that functions as a catalyst for social change.
Check out Felix's IMDB page for some credits.
To read about Felix's experience at the Reel Engagement workshop, go here.
Filmmaker Artist Statement
I’m a polymorphous cultural producer, who positions my creativity in service of furthering social justice goals. I work primarily in film, but claim space in visual arts, photography, curating and programming, and social practice. As an arts administrator, I championed art that functioned as catalyst for social change. My approach is holistic – and I operate from filtering the world through a queer trans/migrant and racial justice lens.
My films cross genres, yet at core are stories of transformation and resilience. As a mixed-race Latinx queer transgender immigrant, I have made the most of limited resources. In 2013, I made GRIT & GRIND, a poly-vocal memoir documentary of New York City’s Clit Club. The history of Clit Club is my story, told by an introspective observer who came out and of age at the height of AIDS, imbued with a sense of unapologetic queer activism. At the heart of my work is the impetus to preserve and share the histories of LGBT communities and emphasize the importance of safe spaces that enable marginalized communities to survive and flourish.
My practice is expansive: in addition to an extensive track record of producing innovative, thought-provoking media of consequence that has screened at prestigious film festivals around the world, it involves contributing a critique of cultural appropriation for Rinku Sen’s online platform, The Maven, for example; and co-founding a skill-share group for transmen who date cis men to advocate for consent and access to HIV-prevention medication as forms of self-care; and expanding that project to encompass hosting a queer “tea party” at SOHO20 gallery, that operated from a framework of accessibility, inclusion, and consent. At surface glance, all of these activities may not seem related, but there is much connective tissue holding them together. In fact, each creative expression feeds and nurtures the others. Ultimately, my approach to cultural work acknowledges that my liberation is bound together with others, and through my creative practice I aim to deepen connections within and across communities.