Tisch School of the Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts, May 2013
Film and Television Production
Carlos Valdivia was a film and television major with coursework in social and cultural analysis. He is interested in using both fiction and non-fiction films to fight bigotry, challenge stereotypes, and expose people to issues that shape our world. As a producer, director, writer, and documentarian, he focuses on projects that explore marginalized voices and characters. By exposing young people to authentic and diverse LGBTQ and disability narratives, he hopes to create more empathy and awareness toward LGBTQ and differently-abled youth.
Carlos's interest in social justice began in high school when his history teacher introduced him to the Facing History and Ourselves educational program that challenges the way students view history. After the program, Carlos facilitated three service learning projects with fellow classmates, allowing him to teach nearly 250 high school students about social justice using lessons about discrimination and racial stereotypes. Carlos created educational films and documentaries, including A History of Discrimination Against Latinos in America, as educational tools that helped students understand the history behind his lessons.
In the summer of 2010, Carlos served as the Media Associate at the Levantine Cultural Center (LCC) in Los Angeles, a non-profit that promotes a greater understanding of the Middle East. As a video editor for the organization, he realized how films could be used to foster greater understanding of misunderstood communities. During his tenure, he also assisted creating a professional relationship between the LCC and the Together Association, a non-profit organization based in Iraq, to help bring art supplies to Iraqi school children and nurture greater cultural ties between America and the Middle East.
At NYU, Carlos immersed himself in service, leadership, and filmmaking. As a tutor working with elementary school students in the Lower East Side, he witnessed some of the earliest stages of school bullying and founded an anti-bullying program with a grant from The Center for Multicultural Education and Programs. His youth education program worked with dozens of students in grades K-5 and used storytelling to help students challenge their own perceptions of identity and persuade them to stand up against bullying. Using footage from the program and interviews with college students who have been victims of bullying, he created the documentary, “Youth Awareness” and presented it a NYU’s annual, school-wide ISM Gala. He was selected as a New York University President’s Service Award Recipient in 2011.
He recently co-produced the award-winning film “The Fragment,” which won Best Film and the Audience Award at the Tisch 48 Film Festival as well as “My Ketchup Smiles,” which won Best Drama and Best Actress at Campus Movie Fest, the world’s largest student film festival. All in all, he has worked on over 40 films for the past two years. Carlos has interned at NBC Universal and HBO Documentary Films, where he worked on the critically acclaimed documentary series, “The Weight of the Nation.” He also interned at the Academy-Award winning production company, Jigsaw Productions and worked as an editing assistant for ListenIn Pictures.