About the Director/Producer: María José Calderón

Documentary Filmmaker, Journalist

María José Calderón is an award winning independent filmmaker. She was born and raised in Chile. She graduated with a major in Film Directing from ARCIS University in Santiago, Chile, in 2002. In 2003, María José moved to San Francisco, California. Since then, she has produced, directed, edited and collaborated in numerous short films and documentaries. Her films are inspired on both local and international stories that highlight social and environmental justice, as well as cultural heritage issues. In May of 2009, she received her MA from UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism documentary program. She’s currently working in the San Francisco Bay Area as a freelance producer and editor.

Her early films include, Viaje Sin Voz (16mm, 1999 – official selection, Best Latino Film School shorts at the 22nd Havana’s International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Cuba), En Cumplimiento del Deber (16mm, 2002 - Best Foreign Directing Award, San Francisco Women’s Film Festival), which has been screened at more than a dozen film festivals.

She is a grantee of the CCNMA Latino Journalists of California, Puffin Foundation, Will & Margaret Hearst Foundation, NALAC amongst others. Her NALAC awarded documentary film, Canto a lo Poeta, premiered in 2008 in the theater of Chile’s National Palace and is currently in festivals. María José was associate producer of the Emmy nominated PBS documentary The Judge and The General, which is also currently in festivals.

María José has actively participated in her local filmmaking community: her work has been screened in classrooms, community gatherings, film festivals and Latino cultural centers in the Bay Area and beyond. She was an invited panel member in the “Latina Filmmakers Media Panel” co-presented by NALIP-San Francisco (National Association of Latino Independent Producers) and the San Francisco Women’s Film Festival.

The Edge of The Sea, her most recent film, premiered this year at the Orlando Hispanic Film Festival and won the Special Jury Award in the short documentary category.
“The Edge of The Sea” tells the story of Edwin 'Pauco' Font, a 61-year old third generation fisherman from Rincón, Puerto Rico. Since the late 1960's, Puerto Rico and small fishing villages like Rincón, have undergone expansive costal development, driven by tourism and the growing demand for beachfront property. “The Edge of the Sea”, follows Pauco in his battle against a local developer planning to build a mega condo project on one of Rincon’s most popular public beaches. This film, explores the issue of privatization of public areas, and the social and environmental consequences of excessive coastal development.