Tim Hobbs and Ori Gratch (Producers, Torch Films)

Tim Hobbs and Ori Gratch founded Torch Films in New York in 2008, as a film production and distribution business. Torch was one of the few companies, and the only film company, selected for New York City’s first entrepreneurship incubator initiative, created in 2009 by Mayor Bloomberg. Later that year, Torch released its first feature film, Marina of the Zabbaleen, to strong reviews from The New York Times and others.

Most recently, Torch completed Aquí y Allá, a mexican drama that premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Critics Week Grand Prize. Aquí y Allá was critically acclaimed by Le Monde, Cahiers Du Cinema, Positif, Variety, The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, The Chicago Sun-Times and many of the leading publications in the world. Torch is currently distributing a portfolio of award-winning international films to the US market, and currently producing and few select films around the world.

Prior to founding Torch, Tim worked as an Associate at The Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles, and in management at McMaster-Carr. He holds an MBA in Finance and Media with Stern Scholar honors from New York University, and a BA with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Emory University.

Prior to founding Torch, Ori worked on the Equity Derivatives Trading desk at Barclays Capital in Hong Kong, and with the Fixed Income Electronic Trading group at Lehman Brothers in New York. He holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from New York University, where he was President of the Jewish Students Association, and a BS from Columbia University.

 

Melina León, Director and Producer

Melina León, wrote, produced, edited and directed half a dozen short films. She has won twice the prize for Best short film awarded by Peru's National Film Board (nowadays DAFO of Peru's Ministry for Culture) — in 2000, for Una 45 para los gastos del mes, and in 2009, for El Paraíso de Lili, which also won an award for best cinematography (Inti Briones) and best actor (Tommy Párraga).

Melina León studied filmmaking and video at the University of Lima, Peru, and holds an M.F.A. in Film Directing from Columbia University in New York City. Her short film El Paraíso de Lili officially premiered at the prestigious New York Film Festival and was selected to over 20 international film festivals, winning 11 awards, among them Best Latin American short film in the São Paulo International Short Film Festival.

 

Michael White, co-writer

Michael J. White is a novelist and screenwriter from St. Louis, Missouri. His first novel, Weeping Underwater Looks A Lot Like Laughter (Penguin Putnam, 2010) was nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discovery Award and long listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. A Columbia University MFA graduate, his essays, short fiction and film reviews have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Korea Times, Conjunctions and The Chicago Review. Michael currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.   

 

 Jesús Pimentel, Producer

Originally from Morelia, Michocán. Mexico, Jesús holds a Law Degree from the Universidad Michocana in Morelia and a M.F.A in Film (with a concentration in Directing and Screenwriting) from Columbia University. In 2001, Jesús began directing animation short films with frech filmmaker Dominique Jonard and, later, he participated in various workshops in Mexico City and Guadalajara conducted by the Quay brothers and Russian filmmaker Boris Goldenblank. In 2010 Jesús was nominated for his shortfilm Miramelinda at the Student Academy Awards-Oscar® and in 2011 he recieved the prestigious Diosa de Plata delivered by Asociación de Periodistas.

 

Graciela Guerrero, Producer

Graciela Guerrero holds a Degree in History from the Universidad Michoaca- na in Morelia, Mexico, and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in History from El Colegio de Michoacán. She has worked in film production since 2003. Un Bel Morir (2005), the first short film that she produced, got the Audience Award at the Morelia International Film Festival. She has worked in several areas of production in the award winning shorts A través de mis ojos (2007), La luz entra en la bóveda (2008), Miramelinda (2011) and Dales una oportunidad (2013). She currently works as executive international co-productions. Graciela also produces the Cine Qua Non Lab Screenwriter’s Workshops since 2008.

 

Inti Briones, Director of Photography

Inti Briones was born in Lima in 1971. In the 90’s, after traveling in Paris, he goes to Chile to meet his maternal family and very quickly he develops a career as a cinematographer. He has been the director of photography of more than 50 features and shorts films, among them all the Chilean films made by Raul Ruiz and in recent years, Las Niñas Quispe -Best Cinematography at the Venice Film Festival 2013-, The Summer of Flying Fish -Best Cinematography at the RiverRun Film Festival- and The Loneliest Planet, a film that got the attention of Variety magazine which mentioned Inti as one of the 10 cinematographers “to watch” in 2013.

 

Rafael Alvarez and Patrick Bencomo, co-producers, MGC (Spain)

Rafael Alvarez studied Image and Sound at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid. He started his first production company in 1990 and since then he has produced 40 short films and 11 features, that have received more than 200 national and international awards. El Regalo de Silvia (Spain-Chile) was his first co-production with Latin America and after that he had made Un Tren a Pampa Blanca (Argentina-Spain), La Mirada Invisible (Argentina-France-Spain), El Árbol Magnético (Spain-Chile) and Unamuno en Fuerteventura (Spain-Argentina).

Patrick Bencomo founded MGC in 2006 with Rafael Alvarez. Since then they have embarked in several kind of projects in music, theater, dance and film production. Their latest film Unamuno en Fuerteventura (currently in post-production), obtained government funding (through ICAA), the Argentinian government (through INCAA) and the Canarian government.