Laura Varela is a documentary filmmaker whose work is shaped by her roots growing up on the US/ Mexico border in El Paso, TX. Her work crosses cultural, linguistic and physical borders through the use of film and contemporary art installations. She now resides in San Antonio, TX where she works as a filmmaker and artist. She produces for VoxFem Network,
a multi-platform, multi-program, multi-venue network and center for innovative, international women artists & changemakers.
Varela’s documentary, As Long as I Remember: American Veteranos was broadcast on PBS from 2010 to 2016. She is currently producing and directing the documentary, raul salinas: The Poetry of Liberation for PBS. She is a recipient of awards from The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Humanities Texas, Latino Public Broadcasting’s Public Media Content Fund, ITVS Diversity Development Fund and Best Director Award at the San Antonio Film Fest. Varela lectures and screens her work internationally at cultural centers and Universities; most recently teaching documentary film at the University of Texas-San Antonio. She is an alumnus of the CPB/PBS Producers Academy, the NALAC Leadership Institute, the NALIP Producers Academy, Creative Capital Professional Development Workshop. Artist Residencies include Swarthmore College, Art for Change, NYC, and the Hochschule Niederrhein and Faust Academy in Germany.
My work as a documentary filmmaker is shaped by my roots on the US/Mexico border in El Paso, TX as well as my time living in San Antonio since 1994. My work crosses cultural, linguistic, and physical borders through the use of film, social practice, and contemporary art installations. I am a recipient of awards from The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Humanities Texas, Latino Public Broadcasting’s Public Media Content Fund, ITVS, and Best Director Award from the San Antonio Film Festival.
My work challenges the iconography and discourse of popular culture when it comes to the farmworker struggle and that of Xicana changemakers in Texas. My goal is to decolonize our stories and give myself, my community, and the general population a deeper understanding of Xicanx/Tejano/Indigenous history and culture. As with everything I create, my stories and projects connect to a larger movement for social change and liberation.