Joel Vázquez Cárdenas (Mexico)

A native of Colima, Mexico, Joel Vázquez Cárdenas was exposed from an early age to classic science fiction movies by his father. Joel completed his B.A. in Film, Television and Digital Media at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he graduated summa cum laude in 2012. In 2018 he earned an M.F.A. in Film Directing from Columbia University in New York. His thesis short film, Así en la Tierra (2020), was a semi-finalist at the 2020 BAFTA Student Awards and winner for Best Ibero-American Short Film at the 2021 Miami Film Festival. Another short film of his, El Clásico (2020), was awarded Best Student Short Film at the 2020 Palm Springs Shortfest. In addition to being a filmmaker, Joel has taught film theory and film history at Columbia University, as well as a summer course for high school students. He is currently in Colima developing his first feature film, Esperando a Ávila Camacho.

Esperando a Ávila Camacho During World War II, after the birth of a volcano in the Mexican rural community of San Ignacio de la Tunas, an indigenous teacher and a foreign geologist must confront an American mining company that covets the volcano’s sulfur to manufacture weapons for the Allies, but whose operation endangers the lives of the local population.