Anayansi Prado is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who teaches Advanced Film Directing at UCLA TFT.
She was born in Panama, moved to the United States as a teenager and later received her B.A. in film from Boston University. Her debut film, Maid in America (2005), was an award-winning documentary about the lives of Latina domestic workers in Los Angeles that screened nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens.
Her second production, Children in No Man’s Land (2008), took a look at the plight of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S./Mexico border, was broadcast nationally on World Channel and was part of the U.S. State Department’s American Documentary Showcase. Children in No Man's Land has screened in more than 30 countries and has won multiple awards including Best Film by the Center for Mexican American Studies and Research. Prado also served as an executive producer on the Discovery en Español series Voces de Cambio, about humanitarian issues in the Latino community, which featured Carlos Santana and Edward James Olmos.
Her documentary Paraiso for Sale, about an island in Panama and the impact that the migration of American retirees and developers is having on the local indigenous community, has been broadcast nationally on PBS since 2011. The film has received numerous film festival awards and earned a 2012 Imagen Award nomination for Best Documentary, TV or Film.
In addition to teaching at UCLA TFT, Prado has taught in Department of Journalism at California State University, Northridge and at Chapman University's Dodge School of Film & Media Arts. As an instructor, she also works on a regular basis with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to bring documentary filmmaking production and photography training to aspiring filmmakers in developing countries. She has taught workshops and conducted presentations in China, Mozambique, Burma, Angola, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Bosnia, Singapore, Panama and Paraguay. For the past seven years, she has served as a film expert for the American Film Showcase, the State Department’s film diplomacy program.
In 2008, Prado and Elease Lui co-founded Impacto Project, a non-profit program geared to bringing visual arts and digital media training to youth in developing countries as tools for empowerment and archival of their own cultures. In 2000 she founded Impacto Films, a production company geared toward the production of documentaries with a social impact.