Looking for LALIFF? It's right here!

Breaking Barriers: Maylen Calienes And The American Latino Voice In Film

Maylen Calienes

The Filmmaker Life

May 19, 2023

Los Angeles-based filmmaker Maylen Calienes has carved a path in the entertainment industry, using her talents as an actor, writer, director and producer to redefine the American Latino voice. With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and universal storytelling, Calienes has made significant contributions to the film industry, championing underrepresented voices and bridging cultural gaps through her work.

Calienes embarked on her filmmaking career after transitioning from acting, writing, and directing theater. Since her move to Los Angeles, she has dedicated many years to the pursuit of her goal: defining the American Latino voice in the United States. Her approach involves creating films that feature leading Latino characters while conveying universal stories with profound social messages, often through the medium of comedy.

As a prolific filmmaker, Calienes has not only honed her skills as a writer, director, and producer but also provided opportunities for other underrepresented storytellers. Recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion, she strives to appeal to a broader audience and portray the true makeup of the world.

Throughout her journey, Calienes has garnered numerous awards for her short films, which she wrote and directed. In recent years, she has shifted her focus to producing movies made by talented Latino filmmakers. One such film, “Esta Es Tu Cuba,” a short film narrative, received the Student Academy Award and qualified as an Academy Award contender. Similarly, her short film documentary, “And the Brave Shall Rise,” also made the list of Academy Award contenders.

Currently, Calienes is eagerly anticipating the premiere of her latest production, “The Shadow of the Sun,” a feature film narrative set to debut at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival this June. Through this project, she continues to exemplify her dedication to showcasing the American Latino voice and delivering powerful stories with lasting impact.

Among her notable achievements is “The Three Bilinguals,” a film that Calienes wrote, directed, and produced. This work serves as a testament to her ability to define the American Latino voice through a universal narrative, resonating with audiences around the world. The film has received accolades for its outstanding comedy, exceptional ensemble cast, and excellence as a TV/web series.

Driven by a passion for empowering Latino filmmakers and promoting diversity and inclusion, Calienes founded the non-profit organization Latino Filmmakers Network during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The network’s mission is to connect, inspire, educate, and create opportunities for Latinos in the entertainment industry. By bridging the gap within the community, this initiative aims to unite and amplify the powerful Latino voice.

In addition to her impactful work with the Latino Filmmakers Network, Calienes is also a co-founder of Multi-Studios. This film studio specializes in producing long and short-form content that combines commercial viability with diverse narratives that carry a profound and lasting social message.

As Maylen Calienes continues to develop her career as a writer, director, and producer, her passion for redefining the American Latino voice remains at the forefront. Through her tireless dedication to diversity, inclusion, and universal storytelling, she not only contributes to the film industry but also fosters a stronger, more representative entertainment landscape. Maylen Calienes serves as an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers, proving that anyone can connect with a good story, regardless of their cultural or background origins.

Connect with Maylen Calienes

Personal Instagram
Facebook Latino Filmmakers Network
Instagram Latino Filmmakers Network