Chilean-Canadian filmmaker Cecilia Araneda came to Canada as a child as a refugee with her family after they escaped the Pinochet military regime. She grew up in northern Manitoba and currently lives in Winnipeg. She holds a BFA hons (playwriting) from York University and an MFA (screenplay writing) from UBC. Araneda is additionally a three-time alumna of the Film Farm.
Araneda has completed 14 short films, which have screened at film festivals, artist run centres and art museums around the world, and which have been recognized with various awards and distinctions. Retrospective screenings of her work have been presented by the Canadian Film Institute (Ottawa, 2010) and LIFT (Toronto, 2017), and are upcoming at the Winnipeg Cinematheque (Winnipeg, 2018) and the Festival Internacional Corporalidad Expandida (Buenos Aires, 2018).
In 2011, she was recognized by the Province of Manitoba as a woman media artist working for social change. In 2017, she served as the inaugural recipient of the LIFT’s Roberto Ariganello Residency Award. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Manitoba Film Hothouse Award, supporting an established Manitoba filmmaker. Araneda was also the recipient in 2017 of an international curatorial residency hosted by the FICWALLMAPU International Indigenous Film Festival in the Mapuche Nation in Chile.
In 2005, Araneda co-founded the WNDX Festival of Moving Image and remained a central force for its artistic and organizational development for nine years. From 2006-2017, Araneda served as Executive Director of the Winnipeg Film Group / Winnipeg Cinematheque. In 2014 Araneda co-founded the Mujer Artista group, a Winnipeg-based initiative to support the development of Latin women artists.
In 2017, Araneda was hired as VUCAVU‘s first Executive Director, to lead national research and organizational development within the emerging digital economy to create new opportunities for Canadian independent film and video through scale-based digital architectures and digital service solutions. Araneda was additionally Vice President of the Independent Media Arts Alliance from 2015 to 2017.
Araneda is currently in development with a long-form experimental documentary film, Threshold, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Araneda is trilingual in (in order of dominance): English, Spanish and French.