Akiva Penaloza


Akiva Penaloza is a writer/director from Queens, New York. She attended the American Film Institute as a Screenwriting Fellow where she studied under the tutelage of Anna Thomas (“Frida,” “El Norte.”) At AFI, she won the coveted Target Foundation Award personally selected by Academy Award Winner Diane Keaton. In 2006, she won $10,000 in funding to direct her short film, “La Chiva,” from the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. “La Chiva” went on to win Best Short at the Long Island International Film Festival and was featured on Channel 13’s shorts program. She also won Best Screenplay in ScriptShark’s annual contest with her feature Western, “Brazen.” She is also the recipient of the Urban Artist Initiative/New York City fellowship and a selectee of Tribeca Film Festival’s All Access program, where she represented her award-winning romantic comedy script, “Hannah Henri.” “Hannah Henri” also received Best Screenplay honors at the Newfest Film Festival in New York City. In 2012, Akiva completed the short film version of “Hannah Henri.” She has begun pre-production on her feature, “The Vanquished.”