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Juan Ortiz Berlinale_edited_edited.jpg


[he/him] Screenwriter - Latin America, Racism, Migration & postcolonial power relations


Juan Manuel Ortiz Valenzuela was born in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1978. He pursued his studies in film and television direction at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, actively engaging as a cameraman and director in both fictional and documentary projects. His portfolio of short films has not only graced screens but also garnered recognition at esteemed international film festivals, including BAFICI, the Miami Film Festival, the AXN Film Festival, and the Korea Green Festival. Prior to his relocation to Germany, Juan directed content for public television in Colombia with a focus on youth in conflict and indigenous communities. His journey took a transformative turn as he secured a scholarship from the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, enabling him to complete a master's degree in scriptwriting and directing at the Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln. In 2015, Juan founded the Lagerfeuer Writers Room, an independent collective dedicated to nurturing film and television projects. This endeavor has garnered multiple accolades, including recognition from the Wim Wenders Foundation. His pursuit of professional growth led him to be selected as a scholarship recipient from Media Europa in 2016, affording him the privilege of participating in the inter-European postgraduate program Serial Eyes.

He writes in German, English, and Spanish.

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