Often it is difficult for the more privileged to understand and relate to the exclusions and inequalities faced by those who are marginalized. It is our job as creative media makers to find ways that effectively translate these issues and push people to understand and challenge the factors at the root of injustice.

We are dedicated to the creation of dynamic media that disputes dominant narratives and emboldens social movements with the fodder to challenge injustice.

To a great extent, that means not being afraid to take sides.

Human Pictures is committed to work exclusively on projects that contributed to the struggle for justice, striving always to create unwavering and compelling work; and embracing complexity above notions of objectivity or neutrality. A political commitment toward social change does not require an artistic sacrifice; we stress creativity, beauty, and quality in everything we do.

Through social documentaries, narrative films, and advocacy films, Human Pictures seeks to move beyond the role of a production company and establishes itself as a multimedia movement for social transformation.

Team

JUAN CASTANEDA, Creative Director

I’ve committed my entire career to working exclusively on projects that contribute to the struggle for justice. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been allowed to document the lives of unbelievable people, and it’s through telling their stories that I found my own.


JUAN MEJIA, Social Documentary Director

I am an activist, researcher, and filmmaker, with a long-term political commitment with communities who have experienced massive cultural or territorial disruption, and who find themselves under or misrepresented by the dominant media. I have worked for over two decades as a documentarian with a firm belief that there is no inherent contradiction between active political commitment and artistic pursuit; to the contrary, these can converge, complement and fortify each other.

As a member of Human Pictures I share the belief that through complex, powerful storytelling we can contribute to the struggle for social justice.


JUAN YEPES, Producer

I consider myself an engineer at my core. Discovering how things work has always fascinated me. After my engineering studies, I realized that understanding the way things function wasn’t enough. I wanted to apply my knowledge and curiosity to something worthy—something that would make society more just.

Through my work at Human Pictures, I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to do what we do more effectively. Whether it’s analyzing a project that needs re-structuring, or developing a more efficient workflow.

I now feel that I do not only understand how the wheel spins; I’m actually spinning it with a direction, with a purpose I hope contributes to a different, better world.


OLIVIA HEFFERNAN, Production Coordinator

I am a journalist and documentary filmmaker. My work focuses on labor organizing, immigration policy, prison abolition as well as the intersection of all three. I graduated from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). My work has been featured in The Nation, Jacobin, The Marshall Project, The Appeal, NY Daily News, Brooklyn Eagle and more.


SONIA SERNA, Field Producer

Sonia Serna is a Colombian feminist and anthropologist. Her scholarly and activist experience has focused on community-based work, gendered and racialized dispossession, environmental issues, and sexual and reproductive justice.

Her work has also included field production in Colombia and South America, English-Spanish translation, editing, and advocacy for international social movements.


GÓMEZ, Cinematographer

Housewife, surrogate mother of 3 cats.

Karen Gómez is a Colombian content creator, cinematographer, and director of photography. Always curious about other people’s stories, she became a videographer at a very young age, when she wanted to be a director and then a camerawoman. Her experience has focused on documentary projects dealing with environmental, arts, youth, sports, and human rights topics.

She films to make friends.