Meet the Jury - Dr. Octavio di Leo

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Jill Kruidenier
June 18, 2014

Dr. di Leo has been with IES Abroad since 2003, first in Barcelona and then Rome, and now as the Director of our IES Abroad Rio de Janeiro Center. Read on to learn about his passion for filmmaking!

Dr. Octavio di Leo
Writer & Producer
Center Director - IES Abroad Rio de Janeiro

Q: Which of your film-related accomplishments do you feel the most proud of?

A: Stolica was produced during an IES Abroad faculty seminar on Conflict Transformation that I organized in 2012 in Rome and Bosnia. After the war (1992-95), people in Bosnia had grown weary of foreign journalists and academics benefiting from their stories without giving anything back. So the film was meant to return to the community and contribute to the painful dialogue in a divided country. Over the past year, Stolica has been screened in Italy and the U.S., but I feel especially proud of the fact that it will finally go back to its original place. On June 8, 2014, the film was presented at the International Peace Event in Sarajevo to commemorate the 100 years since the beginning of World War I.

[To watch Stolica, visit (password: malomalo2013).]

Q: What advice would you give to young filmmakers today?

A: Be good listeners and stay open because the story will lead them to the script, not the other way around.

Q: What is your favorite documentary? And why?

A: The Agronomist, by Jonathan Demme. It is the story of a brave man who, without a land, learned from the farmers in Haiti how to fight for justice. He founded a most inspiring radio station in Port-au-Prince and worked with his wife until he was shot by the military.

Q: How would you condense the spirit of study abroad into one word?

A: Humility.

Visit our Film Festival Jury page to read additional bios and interviews!

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Jill Kruidenier

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