ALEXIS GAMBIS - WRITER/DIRECTOR
Alexis Gambis is a French-Venezuelan filmmaker and a biologist whose interdisciplinary work aims at transforming the way science is communicated to the public through film and visual arts. He received his PhD in Molecular Biology at The Rockefeller University and a Masters in Fine Arts from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. His first feature film The Fly Room about the birthplace of genetics in New York has toured festivals and academic institutions worldwide ending with a theatrical release in New York, Paris, and Berlin in the fall of 2017. He has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Nature, Cell, TED, and WNYC. At NYU, he teaches in both the Biology and Film departments. His courses combine scientific research and storytelling often featuring animals as actors and blurring the lines between fact and fiction. He is also the founder and executive director of the Imagine Science Films, an annual science film festival now celebrating its 10th anniversary. He also recently launched LABOCINE, a science film platform, research video database and magazine coined by reviewers as the "science new wave."
Son of Monarchs will be his second feature and brings together the themes of evolutionary biology, migration and immigration.
MARIA ALTAMIRANO - PRODUCER
Maria Altamirano is a Peruvian-American producer, whose producing work has been featured at various festivals around the world, including Cannes, Cinequest, Outfest, Sarasota and Florida
Maria is a recent graduate of NYU’s highly selective MBA/MFA dual degree program, a conjunction of Tisch School of the Arts and Stern School of Business. Maria has produced a number of narrative short films, including the 35mm Film Factory sponsored project Give Up The Ghost directed by Marian Mathias, which was an official Cinéfondation selection at the Cannes Film Festival. While at NYU she was also awarded the 2017 Media Services Award for Producer of the Year and the First Run Film Festival Graduate Craft award in producing.
Prior to filmmaking, Maria was Market Research Manager at Paramount Pictures where she generated key development and marketing insights for the studio’s slate. She is in pre-production for her first feature film Son of Monarchs, along with two short films to be shot in Cuba and India. She is a California native and holds a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from UCLA.
ABRAHAM DAYAN - PRODUCER
Abraham Dayan is a Mexican producer with more than sixteen years of experience in various formats that include TV shows, commercials, narrative and documentary films. He is the founder and head of Phoenix Films, a Mexico City production company that specializes in client-based and specialty projects.
Abraham’s work has been viewed across Mexican media. Notably, he produced the documentaries Bancos Comunales, supported by W.K. Kellogg and Save the Children Mexico, La Astronomia en Mexico, Past, Present and Future, co-produced by the Mexican Astronomy Institute (UNAM). He produced the reality TV show Nike Joga TV, and Season One of the TV series Woki Tokis, aired on Canal Once TV. Most recently, Abraham produced the short film Los Mimos Monarcas directed by Alexis Gambis, shot in Michoacan in preparation for the feature film Son of Monarchs, which he will produce.
With every project, Abraham combines his business and leadership background with a strong emphasis on the creative elements, managing resources efficiently and prioritizing practical solutions. In 2013 he was awarded an Effie award, which honors effective marketing communications across Mexico, for his work on the public awareness campaign Diviertete Leyendo. He also received the “Effectiveness Award” at the Festival of Media in Valencia, Spain, for the Snickers branded Urbania production.
ALEJANDRO MEJÍA - DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Alejandro is a lefty Mexican-born cinematographer based in Brooklyn N.Y. whose work has been featured at TriBeCa, Sundance, Slamdance, Cabos, Vancouver, Rio de Janeiro and Berlinale among other film festivals around the world. Recently we was selected to join the AMC Mexican Society of Cinematographers. He won the Panavision Award for the Short Film "Marta Rosa" at the Palm Springs International ShortFest 2015. He was selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus 2016.
Alejandro participated in the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with the feature film 306 Hollywood, part of the Next Section. He directed episodes of the TV show Sesiones for Sony Latin American Television. He is Co-Producer of ‘A Secret World’ directed by Gabriel Mariño, which had its World Premiere at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival, and his first feature as a DP, Asteroid, premiered at the 2014 Miami Film Festival.
ANDRES SALDANA - PRODUCTION SOUND
Andres Saldana is a Mexican sound engineer with 15 years of experience and a holder of a Ph.D in Neurosciences who likes to combine his love of film and sciences in the films and projects he takes part in. He received his PhD in Neurosciences from the University of Salamanca Spain. His thesis project, focusing on the cerebral activity of a group of Tibetian monks in a Buddhist monastery in India, aimed at merging the Buddhist philosophy and neurosciences,in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the mind and senses. He is the founder of Shamata, a project and documentary showcasing the findings of his research and investigation.
He has recorded films such as Asteroide, advertising campaigns, television programs and realities for international channels such as Discovery Channel. He is currently filming the Emotional Revolution, a live show and project that focuses on the relationship between human emotions and diseases as understood by chinese medicine. Andrés was in the crew of the short film Los Mimos Monarcas directed by Alexis Gambis.
ARNAUD MARTIN - SCIENTIFIC ADVISER
Arnaud Martin is an Assistant Professor of Biology at George Washington University. He is broadly interested in the genetic basis of adaptation. As part of the group focused on the Evolutionary and Developmental Genetics of Butterflies and Moths, his experimental work with butterflies is primarily centered on the developmental genetics of wing patterning, with a focus on the morphogenetic mechanisms that create positional information on the wing. Butterfly wings, especially in Heliconius, are a crucible of evolutionary wizardry that provide an unique opportunity to study how phenotypes are tinkered over time. He has been working extensively with Bob Reed to characterize the developmental architecture of pattern variation, with a particular focus on the optix and WntA genes.
During his postdoctoral years in the Patel Lab at UC Berkeley, he developed tools to study butterfly wing patterns positioning the butterfly as a model system for comparative developmental biology. He uses the powerful genetic technique CRISPR for genome editing.