• Pacho Velez

    Assistant Professor of Screen Studies


    Pacho Velez is a non-fiction filmmaker working at the intersection of ethnography, contemporary art, and political documentary. His most recent feature, The Reagan Show, explores a prolific actor’s defining role: Leader of the Free World. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival before being broadcast on CNN.

    His previous feature, Manakamana, won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. It played around the world, including at the Whitney Biennial and the Toronto International Film Festival. 

    Pacho received his MFA from CalArts. He has taught filmmaking at Princeton University, Harvard University, Bard College, Parsons the New School, and MassArt. In 2015, he was awarded a Princeton Arts Fellowship. Currently, he is Assistant Professor of Screen Studies at The New School.



    Degrees Held:


    MFA in Program Film / Video from The California Institute of the Arts


    BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University

    Recent Publications:

    The Reagan Show (2017) – Director, Writer – (in collaboration with Sierra Pettengill) – 74 min

    Tribeca Film Festival Locarno Film Festival

    CNN North American Broadcast 

    Seattle International Film Festival


    Mr. Yellow Sweatshirt (2017) - Director, Producer – (in collaboration with Yoni Brook) – 9min

    New York Film Festival

    Toronto International Film Festival

    AFI Fest


    Dragstrip (2015) - Director, Producer – 4 min

    Melbourne International Film Festival

    Toronto International Film Festival

    New York Film Festival


    The Reagan Shorts (2015) – Director, Producer – 15 min

    Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

    Rotterdam International Film Festival

    True/False Film Festival


    Manakamana (2013) – Director, Camera, Editor – (In collaboration with Stephanie Spray) – 118 min

    Whitney Biennial

    True/False Film Festival

    New York Film Festival

    Toronto International Film Festival

    Locarno Film Festival





    Performances And Appearances:


    Ohio State University

    University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

    Organization of American Historians National Conference

    California Institute of the Arts


    Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV)

    Union Docs Amherst Cinema Princeton University


    University of California Los Angeles

    Temple University (keynote speaker, documentary theory / practice symposium)


    Hunter College (sound/ image / interaction symposium)



    Awards And Honors:


    Cinereach, Outreach Grant


    David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking

    Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, Nominee

    McDowell Artist Colony Residency


    Princeton Arts Fellowship, Princeton University

    Cable Network News (CNN), Project Funding

    Sundance Documentary Fund, Grant

    Tribeca Film Institute, Grant

    Cinereach, Grant

    Impact Partners, Project Funding AFI Fest, Special Jury Prize


    Gotham Independent Film Awards, Nominee

    New York Film Festival Artist’s Academy, Guest Artist

    Camden International Film Festival’s Points North Forum, Best Pitch Winner

    Independent Spirit Awards, Nominee

    Catapult Film Fund, Grant

    DocAviv, Best Artistic Vision Award

    BAFICI, Vanguard and Genre Grand Prize

    RiverRun International Film Festival, Best Director Documentary

    LEF Foundation Development Grant


    Locarno Film Festival, Grand Prize (Golden Leopard)


    Harvard Film Study Center Fellow / Sensory Ethnography Lab Fellow


    Sundance Documentary Labs, Assistant Editing Fellow


    U.S. Department of Education, Javits Fellowship



    Current Courses:

    Dean's Honor Symposium (Spring 2021)

    Independent Senior Project

    Independent Senior Project (Spring 2021)

    Independent Study

    Independent Study (Spring 2021)

    Intro to Screen Studies

    Screen Writing (Spring 2021)

    Senior Seminar: Screen (Spring 2021)

    The Z-Axis