Visual and Media Arts Associate Professor Cristina Kotz Cornejo has been awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Kotz Cornejo, a filmmaker who has produced several short and feature-length films, will use her time at the prestigious New Hampshire art colony to focus on a major rewrite of her newest film script, Secretos.
The MacDowell Colony Fellowship is a highly competitive award, hosting only 20–30 artists at a time. It provides artists, who range from filmmakers, to architects, to poets, with individual studios in the woods, where they work without interruption.
Kotz Cornejo will stay in the picturesque Peterborough colony for two weeks this summer. She says her motivation to apply for the fellowship was twofold. She wants to disconnect herself from daily chores and distractions in order to focus on writing as well as take the opportunity to draw insight from other artists. “A really huge part of my writing process is doing a lot of thinking by way of being inspired by other artists and other artwork,” she said.
In her writing, Kotz Cornejo draws inspiration not only from other people, but from her own experiences. One of her most lauded films, 3 Américas, was inspired by her life growing up in both Argentina and the United States.
3 Américas is about an Argentinean American teenage girl who suffers a tragic loss and moves to Buenos Aires to live with her grandmother. The girl, América, is accustomed to life in Boston and speaks little Spanish. Her Argentinean grandmother is staunchly anti-American and speaks only Spanish. “They’re in conflict, but they need each other,” Kotz Cornejo said. “It shows how people can reach inside themselves and come up with strength to overcome odds.”
The Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University is screening 3 Américas on Wednesday, April 4, at 6:00 pm as part of its 2012 series “Women Acting Globally.” For more information, visit http://www.radcliffe.edu/schles/movie_night.aspx.
Kotz Cornejo teaches BFA Production, Directing Image and Sound, and Introduction to Film Production.