Director | Monica Peña is an experimental narrative filmmaker. A Miami native, her work is rooted in a sense of place, influenced by the urban swampscape and invoking its undercurrents of mystical realism.
By using documentary techniques - such as handheld cameras, natural lighting, and no scripts - her stories find a jagged honesty, where the artifice of cinema and the veracity of life battle and blur. This intuitive process relies on material resourcefulness, identifying people and places available in her environment and collaborating to determine each project.
Ultimately, her work tests the edges of both narrative and documentary forms, creating a new imperfect cinema that feels like a deeply embedded spiritual memory.
Her films are:
Ectotherms (feature), 2013
Night Shade (video), 2013
Pink Sidewalks (short), 2014
Hearts of Palm (feature), 2015
Lucila Garcia de Onrubia (short), 2015
Noche Mala (feature), in development
Cienfuegos (interactive novel), in development
Peña was an inaugural Knight Fellow at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Her films have screened at the Borscht, New Orleans, Eastern Oregon, and Miami Film Festivals, on WPBT-PBS, at IFP, and elsewhere. Her work has been featured in Variety, Filmmaker Magazine, the Miami Herald, the Miami New Times, Independent Ethos, the Miami Rail, and elsewhere. She is a grantee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and studied in the graduate film school at UCLA.
Production Designer | Lucila Garcia de Onrubia
Cast & Original Score | Brad Lovett
Director of Photography | JL Rubiera
Sound Mixer | Joel C. Hernandez
Cast | Megan Galizia
With | Julian Yuri Rodriguez & Eloisa Garcia
Producer | Dennis Scholl
Made possible by the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation