Here you will find the profiles of directors, producers, audiovisual producers, actors, technical staff, etc. That by their trajectory and recognition have a prominent place in the national cinema.

Executive Producer, Producer, Director Asistente

Maria Neyla Santamaria

María Neyla Santamaría Bernal was born in Bogota, Colombia. She is a producer and filmmaker based in Panama, with more than 20 years of experience and a long career producing documentaries. In 2007 she created Milagros Producciones, a company dedicated to independent film and documentary production where her work has established an essential link in co-productions between Colombia and Central America.
Maria Neyla is a graphic designer and professional photographer who graduated from the Centro de Diseño Taller 5 in Bogotá. She began her career in film by co-directing the short film Salazar y Torres fueron los culpables (Salazar and Torres were the culprits). The film was an experimental animation shot in 16mm that took part in the Bogota Film Festival in 1995, receiving an Honorable Mention. She attended a cinematographic photography workshop at the EICTV in Cuba with masters Jan Le Masson, Julio Valdez, Libio Delgado, and Daniel Portela. 
In 1997 she won the Colcultura New Talents for TV call for entries with the 5-episode documentary series El espíritu de las fundaciones (The Spirit of Foundations). From there on, she began her career as an executive producer and director of several documentaries. In 2001, she won the Ibermedia call for training in sound editing at Pro Tools while working for Resonancia Films in Mexico City. She also worked as an assistant in editing and sound post-production in Cuento de hadas para dormir cocodrilos (Crocodile Bedtime Fairytale), a feature film by Ignacio Ortiz Cruz, which won the Best Sound prize at the 2002 Ariel Awards. In 2003 she traveled to Panama to produce the event Caminos de Maíz, led by Alexandra Schjelderup, to commemorate 100 years of separation from Colombia. For this event, she also created and directed the entire promotional TV campaign and the graphic design of the promotional pieces.
In 2006, she produced the documentary Tule Kuna - cantamos para no morir (Tule Kuna - We sing so we won't die) by German Piffano, which won the DocTV award for Colombia and was a recipient of the FDC. Her first fiction feature film was as an associate producer of Entre nos (Between us) (2008) by Paola Mendoza and Gloria Lamorte, a Colombian-American co-production that won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. In 2011, she managed the line production in Colombia of the feature documentary Mama Koka - Die Krieger des Kokain (Mama Coca - The Warriors of Cocaine) by Suzan Sekersy (Germany, Colombia). The film premiered at the Hamburg Film Festival in 2012. She repeated this experience in 2013 for the 22-episode animated series ECO S.O.S, by 4 Direcciones.
In 2013, she was the executive producer and joined in fundraising for the feature film La eterna noche de las doce lunas (The eternal night of the twelve moons) by Priscila Padilla. The film won the Best Documentary Award at the Toulouse Film Festival and was selected for several international festivals, including Berlin. In 2014, she premiered the documentary Picó - La máquina musical del Caribe (Picó - The Caribbean music machine). The documentary was a recipient of the FDC 2012 and part of the Cine en los Barrios section of the Cartagena de Indias International Film Festival -FICCI- 2015 and of the "Son de cine" exhibition at the Guadalajara International Film Festival 2016.
She is also the general producer of Diciembres (Decembers), a fiction feature film that premiered in 2018 at the Panama Film Festival and received the Best Human Rights Film Award at the Istanbul Film Festival 2019. The film also won the FDC 2017 post-production grant. She co-produced the fiction feature film Río Sucio (Dirty River) by Gustavo Fallas, which received the Fauno Costa Rica Fund and the Ibermedia Co-Production Fund 2017 awards. The film was also part of the selection at the CRFIC (Costa Rica International Film Festival 2020); was exhibited on the D E  L E  FO C O platform for Costa Rica and Colombia; and won the Best Director, Best Sound Design, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor Awards at the Icaro Festival in Guatemala.
María Neyla is the general producer of the feature documentary Hijo de tigre y mula (Son of a Tiger and a Mule, formerly 1977 El Tratado, in post-production) by Annie Canavaggio. The documentary won the Panama Film Fund and the 2017 co-production Ibermedia Fund grants and was selected for the Guadalajara Co-production Meeting 2018. She is also the general producer of the documentary Los nietos del Jazz (Grandchildren of Jazz), which won the DocTV for Panama, premiered in 2018 on public television in the 17 countries of the program, and got selected at the Festival de Cinema Latino-Americano de São Paulo in 2019.
She also co-produced the feature documentary Objetos rebeldes (Rebel Objects) by Costa Rican Carolina Arias Ortíz. The film won the Ibermedia Co-Production Fund grant in 2018 and the Fauno CR Fund grant in 2017, premiered in the Official Selection of the IDFA Festival 2020, and won the Best Documentary Film Award at the DocSur Chile Festival 2021.
Throughout her career, she has alternated production with other roles. She was an assistant director of the documentary series Talentos (Talents, for the now-defunct Audiovisuales), produced by Alberto Amaya and directed by Heriberto Fiorillo and Alvaro García. She also worked as a first assistant director of several short and feature films such as El final de María (The End of María, 1998) and El Periódico (The Newspaper, 1999) by Jorge Villa, Radio Taxi Santa Fé by William Nuñez (1998), Fragmentos, las imágenes más bellas del cine colombiano (Fragments, the most beautiful images of Colombian cinema, 1999) by Carlos Santa, Bogotá 2016 (2000) by Pablo Mora, Karma (2004) by Orlando Pardo, Amores peligrosos(Dangerous loves, 2010) by Antonio Dorado, Río (River, 2011) by Nicolás Serrano, and Lux Aeterna (2012) by Carlos Triviño. She also co-directed, along with Annie Canavaggio, the feature documentary En busca del Indio Conejo (In search of the Rabbit Indian, in post-production), recipient of the 2014 Panama Film Fund grant and the Ibermedia Co-Production Fund grant.
She worked in animation for the music video Bolero Falaz by Aterciopelados —nominated for Best Music Video on the MTV Channel in 1995 and showcased in the Netflix series Rompan todo (Break it All, 2020) as a milestone in the history of Rock music in Colombia. In 1996, she was a photojournalist at El Tiempo newspaper, learning documentary photography with Henry Agudelo and León Darío Peláez. This experience led her to work, between 1998 and 2001, as the official photographer of the Development and Peace program of the Magdalena Medio Region, portraying one of the territories most affected by the armed conflict. The program was led by Francisco de Roux (Peace Prize in Colombia 2001). For this initiative, she also directed the entire sexual and reproductive health campaign for the Magdalena Medio region in 2006. There she made three documentaries that were broadcasted in NGOs, municipalities, and public channels in this region. She has also been a jury member of the Hayah Short Film Festival (Panama) and the Icaro Panama Festival in 2018.
She is part of the organization and direction teams of the Creative Production Workshop in Panama. The latest edition of this workshop was held from March 28 to 31, 2022, with the selection of 12 projects from Central America and the Caribbean and with mentors such as Cristina Gallego, Julio Hernández Cordón, Gustavo Rondón, and Rubén Mendoza. She is currently developing the fiction project La caja de los huesos (The Bone Box) by Joaquín Horna Sosa from Panama.
Last: April 2022.