Pacho Velez works at the intersection of ethnography, experimental narrative, and political documentary. His films, varied in their subject matter and formal approach, share a preoccupation with creative local responses to broad changes wrought by globalization.
His current project, The Reagan Years, explores a prolific actor’s defining role: Leader of the Free World. Told entirely through a largely-unseen trove of archival footage, the film captures the pageantry, pathos, and charisma that followed the 40th President from Hollywood to the nation’s capital.
His last film, MANAKAMANA (co-directed with Stephanie Spray) won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. It played around the world, including at the Whitney Biennial and the Toronto International Film Festival. His earlier film and theater work have been presented at wide-ranging venues such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, and on Japanese National Television.
In 2010, Pacho completed his MFA at CalArts. He now lives in New York City. He teaches filmmaking at Bard College and design ethnography at Parsons The New School For Design, and is an affiliate of the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University.