Talcual Films is an independent production company founded and managed by Gemma Cubero del Barrio, based in the United States and Spain since 2006. Talcual, meaning “as it is,” seeks to document personal, compelling stories that shed light on universal themes of human struggle and hope. Ella es el Matador (She is the Matador) was the award winning directorial debut of Gemma Cubero del Barrio and Celeste Carrasco and is the first film produced by Talcual Films. The second feature documentary produced by Talcual Films and directed and shot by Gemma Cubero del Barrio premiered at the 37th Hawaii International Film Festival in the “Made in Hawaii” screened at the Doris Duke Theater in Honolulu, Hawai’i and the Roxie Theater in San Francisco in 2018. Our Atoll Speaks, the third documentary directed and produced by Gemma Cubero del Barrio as well through Talcual Films opened at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2019, won the Special Jury Award for Best Documentary Short Film at the Guam International Film Festival and awarded the Coastal Culture Award at the 17th International Ocean Film Festival in San Francisco in 2020. The film continues to travel around the world. The Island In Me ( aka Homecoming) is the fourth feature documentary directed and produced also by Gemma Cubero del Barrio. The documentary recently premiered at the 41 Hawai’i International Film Festival within the Made in Hawai’i Competition and won the Special Jury Prize in Tahiti at FIFO 2022: 19th Festival International Du Film Documentaire Océanien.The production company is available for collaborations.
Gemma Cubero del Barrio is a Spanish/American documentary director and producer. For the last 20 years she has gained a breath of experience producing non-fiction documentary films and original programming. In 2006, she founded Talcual Films. Gemma has produced and directed films in Spain, United States, Mexico, Cuba, Germany, Argentina, Hawai’i, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands from development through distribution.
Her documentaries include: Ella Es El Matador (She Is The Matador), Ottomaticake, Our Atoll Speaks, and The Island In Me. Her films have been supported by institutions such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, Pacific Islanders in Communications, Point of View (P.O.V.), Latino Public Broadcasting, Women Make Movies, Kickstarter, The San Francisco Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, the United Nations Global Environment Fund, and The Redford Center.
Gemma’s film and TV career started as Associate Producer and Researcher on the Sundance Special Jury Prize documentary Señorita Extraviada by Lourdes Portillo. In Spain, she produced for Julio Medem’s company two feature length documentaries, What’s Under Your Hat? and One Percent: Schizophrenia, both with theatrical, TV, and DVD release in Spain.
Gemma received the 2008 Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award for Documentaryfrom the Tribeca Film Institute. She has been nominated for the United States Artists Fellowship, the American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) Award, and the 2022 Chicken and Egg Award. In 2011, she received the Annenberg Fellowship to obtain her MA in Specialized Journalism in the Arts at the University of Southern California. Her thesis “Give Up Tomorrow: Documentary as a Tool for Change” was published by Lambert Academic Publishing. Her consulting producer clients include Latino Public Broadcasting, A Moment In Time Productions, Ambulante California, and TUTU Company. She is a member of the Independent Documentary Association, The New York Women in Film and Television, Board Member of NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacifica Cinema) and for the last 8 years has served as a judge for the Emmy® Awards. Gemma will serve as the chair of the NETPAC Jury at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. The NETPAC Award recognizes films specifically from the Asian and Pacific regions. The jury awards the prize to the best Asian film by a first- or second-time feature director.
Most recently Gemma celebrated the premiere of her new feature length documentary The Island In Me at the 2021 Hawai’i International Film Festival in the Made in Hawai’i Competition and just won the Special Jury Prize at the 2022 FIFO – International Documentary Film Festival in Tahiti. Next her film travels to New Zealand to premiere at DocEdge, Academy Award qualifiying festival. Gemma will continue making films and combine her work with teaching. For more information visit gemmacuberofilms.com.
Celeste Carrasco is a native of Barcelona, living in Madrid, Spain. Celeste was the director, producer, cinematographer and co-editor Ella Es El Matador (She Is The Matador). For El Abrazo (The Embrace) Celeste works with Gemma as cinematographer and editor and for The Island in Me (Aka Homecoming) Celeste served as Consulting Editor. Celeste worked with Gemma in Lourdes Portillo’s Señorita Extraviada and What’s Under Your Hat? Her additional film credits include First Assistant Director on Marta Balletbó’s narrative film, Honey, I’ve Sent the Men to the Moon, and Producer on Lisset Barcello’s narrative film Both. Celeste collaborated with Spanish performing artist Paloma Calle on her short doc Hello Myself which premiered at the Reina Sofía Modern Art Museum in Madrid. For the last 16 years Celeste has worked as video artist for theatre productions such as Vanitas by Salvatore Sciarrino with premieres at the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Contemporary Music Festival in Alicante y the Arriaga Theater in Bilbao. Celeste was also the video artist for Java Suite by Agustí Charles with premieres at Peralada Festival, La Seca in Barcelona and the Basilea Opera House in Switzerland. Both productions were directed by Rita Cosentino. Most recently Celeste has created audiovisual production for Mozart and Salieri by Rimski-Kórsakov for FundaciónJuan March in Madrid in coproduction with Teatro de La Zarzuela and Doña Francisquita directed by Lluís Pasqual for Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, Spain.
Kyung Lee is a filmmaker/editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a Japanese native of Korean descent. She recently completed editing Tokyo Hula, directed by Lisette Marie Flanary (Yamagata Int’l Documentary FF, Hawai’i Intl FF, 2019) and Our Atoll Speaks by Gemma Cubero del Barrio ( New Zealand International Film Festival, Hawai’I Int FF, Guam International Best Documentary 2020 etc) and The Island In Me ( 2021 Hawai’i International Film Festival and 2022 FIFO). Her previous editing work includes co-editing BIG JOY: the Adventures of James Broughton (SXSW, Tribeca, Frameline, Mill Valley Film Festivals, 2013) and OTTOMATICAKE (Hawai’i International Film Festival, 2017). She made her directorial debut with TELOS: the Fantastic World of Eugene Tssui (Newport Beach FF, Arizona Int’l FF, San Diego Asian FF, 2014), a portrait of a visionary Bay Area architect. The film has been screened at film festivals worldwide and is currently being broadcast nationally on PBS. She is in the pre-production stage of her next documentary film, My Landlord (working title), concerning the housing crisis in the Bay Area. She is also producing a short film series on homelessness, We Are Here. Kyung is also currently editing multiple documentary films for other filmmakers. These films include: The Island In Me, two women return home to Pukapuka, a remote island in the South Pacific (directed by Gemma Cubero del Barrio); ¡Quba!, Cuba’s LGBTQ community fight for equality in the post-Fidel era (directed by Kim Anno); “Blurring the Color Line,” a Chinese American filmmaker visits the south to uncover the little known relationship between Southern Chinese Americans and their black neighbors, pitted against one another through a system of white supremacy (directed by Crystal Kwok); and Mr. Immortal Jellyfish Man, a Japanese scientist seeks immortality through the secrets of a rejuvenating jellyfish (directed by Dicky Dahl).