FOCO: The School of Audiovisual Production for Racial Equity

Colombian and Brazilian Cinema by Black Creators

In collaboration with La Asociación de Profesionales del Audiovisual Negro – APAN (Association of Black Audiovisual Professionals) from Brazil, we have established FOCO, the first School of Audiovisual Production for racial equity born from a Colombian-Brazilian partnership. FOCO searches for avant-garde stories for the creation of content that is conscious, high quality and impactful. This initiative aims to establish a new transnational stage for racial equity where audiovisual language takes center stage.

At FOCO, we train an array of over 30 voices who are audiovisual creators, photographers, artists, managers and producers of culture. We empower them to push the boundaries of Colombian movie making by embracing broader narratives, particularly those with ethnic underpinnings. We foster aesthetic excellence and set the groundwork for a meaningful global conversation and interaction through audiovisual expressions.

Our goal is to elevate the diasporic audiovisual experience, especially in the Afro-Latino context. Our main aspiration is to explore the audiovisual potential rooted in our countries' ethnic richness through the creation of narratives that resonate with local and global audiences. This way, we can rejuvenate aesthetic foundations and spark conversations on different levels.

“Over recent decades, we have made legal and political progress in Colombia with a multitude of diverse organizations advocating for racial equity. At Manos Visibles, we believe it's the right time to bring audiovisual expressions to the forefront. We launched our ethnic audiovisual empowerment strategy in 2020 that includes supporting master's programs, schools, and laboratories. This year, our flagship effort is this alliance with APAN, an organization that has helped position Brazil as a flagship country in audiovisuals that showcase its ethnic-racial diversity, exemplified by Oscar-nominated films crafted by Afro-Brazilian creators. With the collaborative efforts of APAN, we focus our lens on a Brazil that allows moments of creative, aesthetic and poetic freedom to blossom. This enables us to explore the next level of diasporic audiovisual expression, particularly within the Afro-Latino context,” explained Paula Moreno, President of Manos Visibles. 

 The School leverages the academic expertise of APAN, which has made systemic strides in racial equity within the Brazilian audiovisual landscape. Representing over 1,000 professionals and associations in Brazil, APAN advocates for its interests across the entire audiovisual spectrum: creation, production, distribution and exhibition.

“We are thrilled about the launch of FOCO and the official alliance between APAN and Manos Visibles in conceiving this school. Working with our brothers and sisters in Latin America has been a longstanding aspiration, and we hope this is just the first of many collaborations,” stated Janaina Oliveira ReFem, Vice President of APAN.


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