Gemma Cubero del Barrio is a Spanish/American documentary director and producer. For the last 24 plus 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 Documentary from the Tribeca Film Institute. She has been nominated for the United States Artists Fellowship, the American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) Award, and the Chicken and Egg Breakthrough Filmmakers 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 7 years has served as a judge for the Emmy® Awards. Gemma served 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 Hawai’i International Film Festival in the Made in Hawai’i Competition. 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. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 2022 FIFO – International Documentary Film Festival in Tahiti and celebrated with International premiere in New Zealand at DocEdge 2022 – Academy award qualifying film festival – with sold-out screenings in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. In 2023 the film premiered at Cinequest and the Roxie Theater at the Green Film Festival of San Francisco.
For more information about Gemma visit gemmacuberofilms.com.
“Gemma Cubero is an amazing filmmaker and fundraiser! I watched with admiration as she managed to find funding in the most unexpected places for her film Ella Es El Matador (not an easy sell!). I would recommend her to any filmmaker.”
Debra Zimmerman Executive Director Women Make Movies www.wmm.com
“P.O.V. had the pleasure of working closely with Gemma Cubero to present that national US broadcast of her extraordinary documentary Ella Es El Matador on PBS. The film is a powerful showcase of Gemma and Celeste’s artistic vision tackling complex social issues through creative storytelling coupled with an exquisite visual aesthetic. Audiences were enthralled, with many so moved that they wrote to compliment the film and debate the issues. Gemma partnered with POV to lead a successful community engagement campaign and to develop educational materials and other resources, so that audiences had the tools to go beyond the broadcast and fully engage with the themes in the film. Gemma is an artist with an inspiring vision. She has a passionate drive to tell the stories that are not being told elsewhere and is one of the most exciting talents to emerge in the documentary world in recent years.”
Simon Kilmurry Executive Director, Executive Producer American Documentary | POV www.pov.org
“Gemma is living proof that diligence, kindness and passion for worthy storytelling aren’t extinct. I would hire her again on ANY project that I undertake — this is how confident I am of her talents and good nature.”
Mimi Chakarova Director, Producer, Photographer UC Berkeley School of Journalism www.priceofsex.org
“Gemma brings the best of both worlds to her production work: she is savvy, meticulous and resourceful, while her graciousness and warmth put everyone at ease behind and in front of the camera. If you are fortunate to have her on your team, her many gifts will elevate the project and the work of everyone involved in it.”
Laurie Coyle Director, Producer, Writer www.paradigmproductions.org
TUTU Company. New Zealand/ Japan Consulting Producer Help film producer Migiwa Ozawa create a budget and secure production funding from Pacific Islanders in Communications/ PBS funding source for her new documentary titled Pacific Mother. Windward Community College Lecturer -Creative Media / Journalism Department Teaches Media & Society and Video Journalism in the School of Creative Media and Journalism at Windward Community College. University of Hawaii at Manoa Visiting Lecturer -School of Communications and Journalism Taught Video and Digital Cinema Techniques, Multimedia Techniques, Documentary Film and Communicating Creativity and Media and Society to undergraduates in the School of Journalism & Communications at UH Manoa. Men a Love Story Fundraising Consultant Second collaboration with Mimi Chakarova on her new film, MEN: A Love Story. A stunningly honest, unapologetic and decidedly un-politically correct glimpse into the minds of American men, and what the word ‘love’ means to them. Ambulante California Development Consultant Develop and implement a fundraising strategy to bring the Ambulante travelling documentary film festival and vision to California. ambulante.com.mx University of Hawaii West Oahu Film Instructor Taught in the Creative Media Department a project-based course that focuses on the independent creative professional as producer, entrepreneur, self-promoter, and monetizer of a multimedia product. Offered every Fall. uhwo.hawaii.edu Hawaii Women in Filmmaking – Making Media That Matters & Summer Reel Camp for Girls Filmmaking Instructor Taught Making Media That Matters an after-school program for girls in which participants develop film and critical-thinking skills by examining issues in their communities. Since 2013, Taught Summer Reel Camp for Girls a one –week filmmaking and storytelling workshop for young women in Hawaii dedicated to promoting social justice and gender equality through the power of film. hawaiiwomeninfilmmaking.org Hawaii Pacific University Adjunct Professor Taught Documentary Production and Point Shoot and Edit at Hawaii Pacific University’s Multimedia and Cinematic Arts Program. hpu.edu University of Hawaii, Manoa – Spanish Department Visiting Lecturer Taught Spanish Cinema and Spanish conversation using multimedia tools at Hawaii Pacific University’s Spanish Department. manoa.hawaii.edu Iconoclastas Consulting Producer Work for Fremantle Media in the production of Iconoclastas, the Latin American version of the Sundance Channel documentary series titled Iconoclasts. Find and secure characters and assist in coordinating productions. Visit Site The Price of Sex Consulting Producer Consulting Producer on The Price of Sex, a feature length documentary directed and produced by Mimi Chakarova, that narrates the experiences of young Eastern European women forced into the world of sex slavery and human trafficking. Assist in identifying funding sources, writing proposals, creating budgets and advising on outreach and distribution. Visit Site Dark Swan Consulting Producer Consulting producer on Dark Swan a documentary film directed and produced by Laurie Coyle. Assisted Ms Coyle in the archival footage research of her dance film Dark Swan. Adiós Amor Consulting Producer Consulting producer on Adiós Amor directed and produced by Laurie Coyle.Assisted Coyle in the fundraising strategy for Adiós Amor, a film about the search of pioneer migrant farm worker María Moreno. Feminicide = Sanctioned Murder: Gender, Race and Violence in Global Context Production Coordinator International conference that took place at Stanford University. This event examined the murders and disappearances of women in Mexico, Guatemala and Canada. The conference used the intersection of art and politics in violence against women. As the panel coordinator for the conference, designed panels, selected and gained access to panelists, and coordinated film presentations. Visit Site Mariachis Archival Research Consulting work to research archival footage in Mexico for a documentary film project about mariachis. What’s Under Your Hat? Executive Producer & Line Producer Helped directors, Lola Barrera and Iñaki Peñafiel develop the documentary film from development through distribution. Gained access to the main characters of the film,planned and conducted shoots in Spain, France, United States, Mexico and Cuba. Conducted interviews in English, translated for Spanish-speaking directors, designed and implemented fundraising strategy and distribution campaign. Visit Site Uno Por Ciento: Esquizofrenia Executive Producer & Line Producer Helped director Ione Hernández and producer Julio Medem gained access to the main characters of this feature documentary, planned and conducted shoots in Spain, located and secured archival footage, supervised post-production phase. Visit Site El Mundo del Siglo XXI Writer Wrote investigative articles and feature stories for the Science and Culture section and the Sunday Magazine of the National Spanish Newspaper El Mundo. Visit Site Señorita Extraviada Associate Producer & Researcher Assisted director and producer Lourdes Portillo in the research and development of the film, gained access to characters, wrote proposal and budgets, secured archival footage and planned and implemented fundraising strategies and events. Visit Site The Women’s Building Development Director Helped raise $5.9 million for the Reinforce the Dream capital campaign to renovate the Women’s Building. Fundraised through individual donors, federal, state and private institutions and foundations. Identified funders and wrote grants to secure funding from national and local private foundations, corporations, institutions and state and federal agencies. Cultivated donors and planned fundraising events. Coordinated the Leadership Committee, worked with the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. Visit Site Contact Talcual Films