David Astudillo spent his childhood in Guarenas, a city near Caracas, Venezuela. When he arrived in the United Sates in 2015 he became an independent filmmaker. He is now finishing his film studies at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As his country goes through the worst economic crisis in its history, he is relentless in pursuing film and taking deeply-touching stories to the screen. David has traveled to England, Nigeria, Cuba, Colombia, and Bolivia doing documentary work for non-profits in diverse and challenging places. After writing and directing several award-winning short films, David has finally found the opportunity to tell the one story that has touched him the most: the situation of the millions of Venezuelans forced to leave their homeland in order to survive. His Latino heritage and his family-oriented culture have not only largely defined his character as a person to tell stories that matter and are close to him, but have also influenced his next project—a Spanish-language film about the diaspora of his fellow countrymen.
In her acting debut, Ana Graciela Cartaya is a Venezuelan fashion designer and model who migrated to Buenos Aires seeking a better future. Her gifts and circumstances have prepared her to interpret the fictional character Ana María, who not only represents some of her experiences as a Venezuelan, but also that of many other immigrants across Latin America and the world. Ana has worked hard to fulfill her dreams, and Préstame Tu Claridad is a platform that seeks to display her talent and reward the struggle she shares with all Venezuelans.
Veronica Kirin is a serial entrepreneur, anthropologist, and author. She is founder of a recognized Top Women Owned Business and has been named a 40 Under 40 Business Leader. She is comfortable behind the camera as a former photographer, and in front of the lens as both a former actress and model. In 2018 Kirin published her first book, Stories Of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don’t (accompanied by a documentary edited by David Astudillo), and has presented her work worldwide, including on the TED stage. She currently coaches other audacious entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level through podcasting, crowdfunding, or writing.
Getting his start behind the camera as a cinematographer, James Sturtridge has followed the filmmaking process to post production. He has cut and colored dozens of corporate, fiction and promotional projects full time since graduating from Grand Valley State University in 2018. Won over by Alumnus David Astudillo’s infectious passion for the material, James joined the “Lend Me Your Light” team. His dedication to visual storytelling and the art of the cut are matched by his admiration of fellow Michigan native Iggy Pop.
Brenda Bursuk is an actress and director. She finished her studies at Universidad del Cine (FUC) in 2018, receiving a degree on film directing. From the outset of her filmmaking career, she has performed the role of Assistant Director in several student and alumni short films from the same university. She was also Assistant Director in the short film “Error 404”, which obtained the Cóndor de Plata award to best short film. Bursuk studied at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York City. She also studied theater and theatrical directing under Agustín Alezzo, finishing 5 years of studies in acting school, and completed the acting seminar for professional actors under the teacher Augusto Fernandes. Now, Bursuk will be Assistant Director in Préstame Tu Claridad (Lend Me Your Light).
Lautaro Homero Aguerreche is a film student at Universidad del Cine (FUC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He performed his skills in camera and lighting in a number of films made by fellow students. Préstame tu claridad (Lend Me Your Light) is important to Aguerreche because it brings to the screen images of real events that show social conflicts of the 21st Century.