Producer/director Juan Manuel Calderón (Perú, 1967) began his artistic career during the 1990s by creating portraits of the alternative rock scene, and documenting the major dance and theatre troupes in Lima, Perú. Interested in actively engaging his multi-disciplinary experiences to inform and develop his own style, Calderón established his career with personal works of video art and experimental shorts that clearly reflect his inter-relation with different artistic media. In 2001 he bacame self-exiled, arriving in New York two days befote 9.11. He was able to document this horrific experience, and his work was included in the HBO documentary “In Memorian.” In 2002, Calderón was awarded a fellowship through the Public Access Channel in Brooklyn BCAT, where he produced a series of television shows about Hispanic artists based in New York. Together with a number of the artists documented in this series, he established the art collective Spanic Attack, a collaborative established to aid in the difusion and promotion of Latin American art in New York. In 2003, Calderón completed his first feature-length film, “Razones para el Exilio”, the first part of a trilogy dealing with the idea of exile. Based in different parts of the world, and focusing on the particulars of the Peruvian experience abroad, the first film takes place in New York, while the second film, “Motivos para el Exilio”, completed in 2006, takes place in Madrid with a cast of Peruvian actors based in Spain.
Calderón has worked extensively with children, including his work at public schools in Manhattan, where his students qualified as finalists in New York’s Tribeca Film Festival in the DOWNTOWN YOUTH BEHIND THE CAMERA category. During 2007 Calderón spent time in Austin, Texas, working as video art teacher. In 2009, Calderón returned to Lima to present his two feature films. He also conducted a series of workshops for social organizations on how to produce “urban video”, working closely with micro-film groups such as Grupo Chaski and La Casa de la Panchita. He recently completed a tour through various European cities where his films were featured at festivals and local events. Calderón currently lives in New York, where he is engaged in programming a new Public Access television show, while working on the script for his third feature film.