Originally from Mexico City, Carlos Aguilar was chosen as one of 6 young film critics to partake in the first Roger Ebert Fellowship organized by RogerEbert.com, the Sundance Institute and Indiewire in 2014. Aguilar’s work has appeared in prestigious publications such as Los Angeles Times, Variety, The New York Times, The Wrap, Indiewire, Vulture, RogerEbert.com, MovieMaker Magazine, Remezcla, Filmmaker Magazine, Slate, Bustle, Americas Quarterly, among others. He is a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA). Besides his work in journalism, Aguilar regularly works as a screener for the Sundance Film Festival and a screenplay reader for Sundance’s Screenwriters Lab. Carlos Aguilar has also been on the jury at renowned festivals such the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, Aspen Shortsfest, and the Los Angeles Indian Film Festival. Being a filmmaker and also a DACA recipient, he is dedicated to bring awareness to Latino and Latin American cinema in the U.S by writing about films and covering film festivals. Aguilar has always been passionate about film, declaring it as the one thing that could encompass everything without subject to limitations, allowing people to share different stories and find meaning behind experiences.
Working on festival coverage, Aguilar spends half of the year traveling all over the country to cover festivals, and discover new films and projects made by filmmakers living outside Los Angeles and New York. For the second half of the year, he dedicates his time to reading screenplays for the Latino Fellowship to discover new talent. During the process of writing stories and critiques, Aguilar watches films, looking for special and interesting content. By arranging interviews or writing a review, he highlights a filmmaker’s work that he feels would connect with a larger audience. Particularly in his case, he is trying to find the angle that speaks specifically to being Latinx.
Aguilar has been involved with NALIP for many years now, and he has greatly benefited by attending the NALIP Media Summit as well as being part of the Latino Media Festival. “Me as a writer, it’s a very isolated profession to write by yourself in a room and to create ideas on your own. Being able to go to the Summit and to the Media Fest, all the events NALIP organizes, it’s a way to kind of know the effect or the importance that every part of the industry has,” Aguilar expresses. As a journalist, he also uses his platform to tell filmmakers about organizations like NALIP and tell the Latino community that there is a place for them to connect with others who will advance their careers, “on my end, knowing that filmmakers are trying to push forward how they’re doing, how their projects are becoming more relevant. It becomes a way to realize that there’s a community out there, that we all form a part of an ecosystem that’s pushing forward the collective efforts to push for our Latino content and our stories.”
Concerning the current political climate and being a DACA recipient, Aguilar is open about going public with his immigration status, as he feels it is extremely important for people to know that dreamers are out there doing many professions and contributing in this country. Aguilar shares that being a dreamer or undocumented "makes things more complicated to achieve certain things or to do certain things." Despite this, Aguilar feels a sense of community and states that, “fact that most of us manage to do so much despite the limitations, it’s proof that DACA recipients have a strong spirit, a strong devotion for their families and for themselves to better themselves and to do something good for this country. ”
Even though there is a lack of representation in Latino critics and Latino film journalists, Aguilar has a positive attitude towards the future trend in the industry. “The way Latinos will be represented in entertainment in the near future is going to be major. It is a way that we’re writing and I think that’s not going to stop in a long time, that the industry is realizing that we’re here that we’re here because we’ve earned our seat by our talent, by our work, and the power that we have in terms of audience so it’s going to be undeniable in the future and we’re getting there.”