Cecilia Araneda 2015 photo by Marcel Beltrán
Cecilia Araneda 2015 (photo by Marcel Beltrán)

Cecilia Araneda

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Cecilia Araneda was born in Chile and came to Canada at a young age as a refugee with her family after they escaped Chile’s coup d’état. She grew up in northern Manitoba and currently lives in Winnipeg.

Araneda holds a BFA (hons) in Theatre (playwriting) from York University and an MFA in Creative Writing (screenplay writing) from the University of British Columbia, where she studied under thesis advisor Hart Hanson. She is additionally a three-time alumna of the fabled Film Farm.

She has completed 14 short films and videos as director and writer, which have won awards and screened in festivals, curated programs and art house cinemas internationally. Among the film festivals that have featured Araneda’s work are Visions du Réel, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, The Images Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Festival de Cine de Huesca, Hamburg International Short Film Festival and Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano.

Her work is in the collections of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y Léon (Spain) and the National Library of Chile.

In 2010, Araneda’s work was featured in a retrospective screening at the Canadian Film Institute in Ottawa, Canada.

In 2011, Araneda was recognized by the Government of Manitoba for her work as a woman artist working for social change.

In 2014, she was nominated for the Premio Norberto Griffa a la Creación Audiovisual Latinoamericana, an international prize for a Latin American filmmaker or video artist who demonstrates strong auteurship, working outside of film industry aesthetics.

In 2017 she was the recipient of the inaugural LIFT: Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto Roberto Ariganello Award supporting an established Canadian artist working in celluloid practices.

In 2017, she was also the recipient of the Manitoba Film Hothouse Award, supporting the ongoing self-directed development work of an established Manitoba filmmaker.

Her first novel, The Ocean, was released December 2012.

Araneda served as Executive Director of the legendary Winnipeg Film Group from 2006 to 2017. Through her work in this organization, she fostered the development of many Winnipeg-based filmmakers who have since gone on to garner national and international attention.

In 2005, Araneda founded, together with filmmaker Solomon Nagler, the WNDX Festival of Moving Image, which has since become one of the most respected experimental film festivals in Canada. Araneda served as President and member of the programming committee for the festival for its first nine years, and as festival producer for its first five.

In 2014 Araneda founded, together with performance artist Praba Pilar and visual artist Monica Martinez, the time-limited Mujer Artista collective, a Winnipeg-based cross-disciplinary initiative to support the development of Latin women artists. “Speaking in Tongues,” Mujer Artist‘s collective show, was presented at aceartinc in January/February 2017.

Araneda is trilingual, in English, Spanish and French. As is common with Latin Americans, Araneda is of mixed European and Indigenous (Mapuche) descent.

Scott Birdwise, Canadian Film Institute, April 2010:

Araneda works in video and film, in fiction, documentary and experimental modes, testing the image for what it tells us about ourselves – our past and how we imagine it in pieces and textures. Often in Araneda’s work, a fragment of a word or an image or a colour – red, for example – triggers an associational process of remembrance. To live with images which linger after the moment has passed: the signs of a presence and an absence. How we remember, how we forget, and the role of the image in stasis and unpredictable movement – these are the motors and the enduring questions of Cecilia Araneda’s memory work in film.