Spotlight Story

05 October 2022

Dani Reyes-Acosta: A Mexican-Filipina Filmmaker Trailblazer Focused on Community

Category: Spotlight Story

Dani Reyes-Acosta grew up in Southern California, surrounded by production agencies. Yet it wasn’t until years later she discovered a passion for filmmaking.

For Dani, filmmaking is no easy feat. Prior to pursuing a career in film, she worked in corporate America. Although she worked on digital campaigns through animation and live action, she felt an essential component was missing–community. For her, she wanted to build a system focused on community, trust, and living a values-centered life.

“Outlier: Trust,” a film she co-directedwith Faith, focuses on two Latinas trying to become alpinists and ski partners but discover there must be trust within one another and their environment. They also discover that sometimes the journey is not simply about the destination, rather the tumultuous moments that make them stronger.

While filming "Outlier", Dani also discovered that filmmaking took grit and determination to make a film that was not just about putting something together but rather forming a piece of art that will impact lives.

“What felt most exciting about filmmaking was the opportunity to learn something and I knew if I could create a safe space to be creative, I could potentially do something impactful.”

In regards to filming her first ever film, Dani also said, “Filmmaking is oftentimes not pretty–yet there is this kind of higher cause that you have to keep in mind so you don’t get bogged down with the difficulty and the emotions it creates.”

As for what Dani wants people to gain from the film, she shared, “I hope anyone regardless of their identity or career, can take a moment to look inwardly and see how the things that they have not embraced about themselves are actually truly gifts. These gifts are what make people different and can form community-minded spaces that are not just good for people, but also for the environment that we share with everyone.”

"Outlier: Trust" will screen for the first time at Our Heritage, Our Planet Film Week hosted by Hispanic Access Foundation to end Hispanic Heritage Month. The film has also been chosen to show at the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival this year.

As for Dani, her next steps are focused on the rollout and launch of "Outlier" so it can make a wide impact for communities of color and uplift community-focused film projects.

Hispanic Access is inspiring, training, and working with leaders like Dani Reyes-Acosta, who have a stake in their community and have the drive for positive change. To help support and continue this work, please consider making a Charitable Donation

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