Lourdes Portillo
San Francisco, CA
2008 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.

Mexican born and Chicana identified, Lourdes Portillo makes films that focus on the search for Latino identity. In 1976 she established her own company, Xochitl Productions. Her subjects have ranged from the mothers of the disappeared in Argentina, in Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo (nominated for an Academy Award in 1986), to the murdered Tejano pop star Selena, in Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena. La Ofrenda: Days of the Dead is a study of the Mexican popular folk tradition of honoring the dead, and The Devil Never Sleeps is a playful personal whodunit surrounding the death of Portillo’s uncle. Portillo’s Señorita Extraviada is a wrenching film about the hundreds of young women who have been mysteriously murdered in Juarez, Mexico.

Portrait photo courtesy Lourdes Portillo.
  • Artwork by Lourdes Portillo
    Lourdes Portillo and Kyle Kibbe (cinematographer); photo courtesy Jon Else
Artwork by Lourdes Portillo