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Talent, Execs Making Waves in Ecuador's Burgeoning Film Biz

Diego Araujo, writer-director
His helming debut "Feriado," sold by M-Appeal, became the first Ecuadorian pic to have a world premiere at the Berlinale. Araujo has written and directed several shorts, docus and commercials. He's developing three pics with Norwegian wife/producing partner Hanne-Lovise Skartveit: found-footage horror pic, "Cinco," comedy "Ocupacion Habitual" and a dramedy.

Victor Arauz, writer
He's proven his dramatic chops in two pics, Ecuador's 2013 foreign-language Oscar entry "The Porcelain Horse" and "Sin otono, sin primavera," but his comedic talents are on display in a daily sitcom and a weekend sketch comedy on TV. "I get bored easily, so I like being busy," he says. Arauz, 30, also has acted in and directed plays, and is the frontman in punk-rock band Los Propios.

Simon Brauer, cinematographer
An experimental vein runs through Brauer's award-winning credits in still photography, shorts, ads, videos, books and features. He was among the first to fight for film studies in Ecuador when local films were rare. "Those were indeed tough times and now I'm working on at least two films a year," he says. Brauer most recently worked on Ana Cristina Barragan's "Alba."

Isabel Carrasco, producer
Carrasco has produced festivals such as EDOC and Cero Latitud, and helped promote local hits "Cronicas," "Que tan lejos," and "Con mi corazon en yambo." In 2009, she founded shingle La Republica Invisible with helmer Ivan Mora Manzano to produce his award-winning feature debut "Sin otono, sin primavera." Carrasco joins the Ecuadorian delegation to Cannes.

Enrique Chediak, cinematographer
Chediak, 47, has worked on leading Ecuadorian helmer Sebastian Cordero's "Rabia," "Cronicas" and sci-fi thriller "Europa Report," and is likely to collaborate on Cordero's upcoming "Sin muertos no hay carnaval." His credits include Danny Boyle's "127 Hours" and "Babylon," and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's "28 Weeks Later." He won the cinematography award at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival for "Hurricane Streets."

Anahi Hoeneisen, actor-director-writer
Hoeneisen, 42, is an actress first and foremost. After starring in various features and shorts, she wrote and co-directed two features with her husband, cinematographer Daniel Andrade: "Esas no son penas" and "Ochentaisiete," which she took to Cannes' Cinema du Monde in 2010. She starred in the former and hopes to play a lead in the next pic she's writing, "Baby."

Juan Sebastian Jacome, writer-director
A Florida State U. Fine Arts grad, Jacome's 2012 Panama-set debut feature, "Ruta de la luna," had its world premiere in Montreal, subsequently winning a clutch of fest awards. "I like working best with actors," he says. "I let the story dictate the visual style of the film." He co-produced Ecuador's first-ever Berlinale entry "Feriado." Up next: Co-directing "Uno menos 1" with Victor Mares and helming the romantic drama, "Hollywood."

Alfredo León León, writer-director
Leon wrote and helmed a string of TV series, docus and shorts, one of which, "Impulsos," won the audience award at the inaugural Cero Latitud Film Fest in Quito, before making his feature debut "Open Wound," a POW drama. He's developing his second pic, "Submergible," about four people trapped inside a makeshift submersible, which he'll
take to Cannes.

Francis Perez, actor
At 17, he is already one of the more sought-after thesps in Ecuador. His credits include notable pics "Feriado," "Alba" and "Ochentaisiete." Fluent in English, he was only 14 in the latter pic and had no formal drama training except for a monthlong course. He also played a key supporting role in the Dutch TV movie "Getuige" by Handro Shimd, which was shot in Ecuador. But like many actors,
he'd rather direct.

Miguel Salazar, producer-art director
After 12 years in the ad biz, Salazar left it completely last year to devote his producing and art direction skills to film. His credits include a string of shorts as well as the pics "Sin otono, sin primavera," "Ochentaisiete" and Tito Molina's recent Guadalajara Special Mention awardee, "Silence in Dreamland" (Silencio en la tierra de
los suenos).

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