Celebrate Hispanic Heritage W/ These Badass Female Directors
In case you hadn’t heard, September 15th marked the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month and, if we’re being honest, we’re pretty excited about it. So to celebrate, we found five of our favorite female Hispanic and Latina directors whose work you’d do well to look into.
Jean “Coneja” Pacheco
You’ve likely seen her signature gap-toothed smile and lined lips, if not on your Instagram feed, then at least on your Discover page. Referred to mainly as “Coneja,” she’s based in Los Angeles and is, first and foremost, a makeup artist. However she’s also directed some pretty glossy music videos like the below—which, it should be noted, she also made a cameo in, did the makeup looks, and styled. And as you’ll notice in the video below, Mexican culture and celebrating women’s sexuality are tropes she often uses or references in her work. With a following of nearly 85k and a dreamy face that resembles the late Brigitte Bardot—but like, swankier—Coneja combines both Chicano and Goth culture into her own, erotic world.
A gang of fearless women of color biking through the east side of Los Angeles is the topic of Kate Trumbull-LaValle’s most recent documentary Ovarian Psychos. Trumbull-LaValle wasn’t always a director; her first job was in social justice, before she moved on to become a producer at PBS. However it wasn’t until she met cinematographer and fellow badass, Joanna Sokolowski, that the two decided to start their own production company, Sylvia Frances Films. From there, Trumbull-LaValle and Sokolowski began making intimate projects that spotlight the modern woman. Ovarian Psychos tells the story of activism, sisterhood, and poverty in a precarious L.A. neighborhood—and how a group of women came together to protect themselves against a broken system.
We were first introduced to the sultry world of Kali Uchis back in 2013, when the Colombian-American singer released her first mixtape, Drunken Babble. You might recognize her from her recent collaborations with Tyler, the Creator, A$AP Rocky, and Snoop Dogg, or maybe even from her flawless Instagram selfies. But what you probably don’t know is that Uchis is a total girl boss, and the director behind all of her music videos. Oftentimes finding inspiration in powerful female musicians like Lily Allen and M.I.A, the R&B singer tends to infuse jazz sounds into her own tunes, and a pink, candy-coated, Colombian flavor into her music videos.
Prior to landing the role of Blanca Flores on Orange Is the New Black, Laura Gómez spent her early career writing, directing, and producing short films that often centered around conflict in interpersonal relationships, such as the hilarious short, Hallelujah. Outside of the Dominican’s film career, she’s become a huge advocate for LGBTQ rights in Latin America and uses her OITNB platform to promote the Black Lives Matter movement. A G, if you will.
Earlier this summer, Stella McCartney teamed up with director Melina Matsoukas to reveal her dreamy world in a new short starring Amandla Stenberg and Grimes. The American director, who is of Jamaican and Cuban descent, graduated from NYU in 2006 and then went on to create music videos for nearly every major superstar—Rihanna, Whitney Houston, and even Queen Bey‘s “Formation” chief among them. Aside from her already highly-anticipated new HBO series, Insecure, starring Issa Rae, Matsoukas has spent the past ten years proving she’s a woman of many talents (and great Instagrams).
Featured image by Bonnie Wang.
Stay tuned to Milk for more fierce female filmmakers.