JUAN FELIPE

ABOUT

Juan Felipe is an award-winning Colombian filmmaker based in New York City.

Juan Felipe Zuleta (b. 1994) is an award-winning director based in New York City whose diverse body of work both celebrates and interrogates the contemporary immigrant experience through a genre-bending cinematic lens. After immigrating to the United States from Medellín as a teenager, Juan earned his first industry internship at the Paramount Pictures lot when he befriended a group of executives on his recreational futbol team. From that unpaid desk job, he went on to study at NYU Tisch School of the Arts (‘16) before becoming one of the youngest-ever in-house directors at VaynerMedia following graduation.

 

When not directing commercials for brands like Budweiser or directing music videos for multi-platinum artists like Russ (“Seduce” 2022), Juan works to reconcile the unique and divergent aspects of his identity by creating original films about outsiders. Going from a conservative Catholic upbringing in Colombia to the diverse, liberal atmosphere of Los Angeles and New York gave Juan a one-of-a-kind perspective on notions of nationality, identity, and art. Accordingly, he is dedicated to new narratives that ask engaging questions and eschew cliches; melding genres to explore authentic narratives that continually break ground on-screen. His inspirations include Denis Villenueve, Alfonso Cuarón, Luis Buñuel, and the Coen Brothers.

 

Juan was a recipient of a $50,000 creative prize from the Richard Vague Production Fund in 2018, along with his long-term creative partner Leland Frankel. Additional honors include directing a Cannes Silver Lion-winning commercial in partnership with Kraft (2019), making the shortlist for the Cannes Young Directors award (90 Brothers 2020), and inclusion in the 2021 Frontières International Co-production Market (We Were Born Dead, w/ Leland Frankel). His branded work has also been featured in AdAge and other leading industry publications.

 

Juan’s first feature film Unidentified Objects premiered at the 2022 Inside Out Film Festival in Toronto and will have its US premiere at the Frameline International Film Festival. He is currently developing a slate of forthcoming projects, including two more feature films: Spanish-language coming-of-age thriller We Were Born Dead and an untitled English-language sci-fi drama, both co-written with Leland Frankel.