Maria Agui Carter

Writer/ Director/ Professor


Maria Agui Carter is a writer, director, and Assistant Professor at Emerson College. She grew up undocumented in NYC, graduated from Harvard, and has won George Peabody Gardner, Warren and Rockefeller fellowships. Formerly a staff producer for PBS’s flagship station WGBH, she founded Iguana Films in 2000. Her documentaries have broadcast and screened at festivals around the world.

Recent works include REBEL about Civil War woman soldier Loreta Velazquez (View on Amazon Prime), winner of a 2014 Erik Barnouw award for best historical films in America; and the opening episode of the PBS series Latina SCIGIRLS, nominated for a 2019 Daytime Emmy award. 

Maria is currently filming ALLEGED, about a Latinx woman caught in the criminal justice system. Her script SECRET LIFE OF LA MARIPOSA, a magical realist fable about immigration and climate change, was supported by the Sundance Feature Film Program and is in development with Barbara DeFina, (Goodfellas and Silence) attached as producer, and Maria attached as director.  

Artist's Chosen Interviews:

Artist's Chosen Resources:

  1. Some favorite sites for exploration: LitHub, HyperAllergic, Brain Pickings and The Pudding
  2. Authors that inspire me include Eduardo Galeano, Isabel Allende, Pablo Neruda, Toni Morrison, Tracy Smith, Gloria Anzaldua, Sandra Cisneros, Jeanette Winterson, Elizabeth Bishop, Ann Patchet, Margaret Atwood, Rebecca Solnit, Mary Oliver, Roxanne Gay, Joy Harjo, Juan Felipe Herrera, Viet Nguyen, Orson Scott Card, E.B. White, J.K. Rowling, Ocean Vuong, E.O. Wilson, Stephen J. Gould, Justin Torres, Quiara Alegria Hudes.
  3. Directors whose work I enjoy include Alice Guy Blaché, Maya Deren, Ida Lupino, Chris Marker, Guillermo Del Toro, Jane Campion, Mira Nair, Gurinder Chadha, Akira Kurosawa, Martin Scorcese, Clint Eastwood, Emir Kusturica, Julie Dash. 
  4. I like to keep up with Latinx and Latin American culture and politics, and some of what I read includes El Pais (A Spanish newspaper), ReVista (which is a Harvard Review of Latin America magazine), and digital publications from Remezcla to El Cultural to Emprendedores to CONAIE.
  5. I love to poke around in libraries and find unexpected obsessions–in Boston I have access to some of the best in the world including the Schlessinger Library at Radcliffe specializing in American women’s history, where I can browse through the largest collection of recipe books in the world, or the papers of Angela Davis, and I could spend days in Widener library at Harvard, the largest academic library in the world, with its many special collections where I have taken out books like an original 1878 copy of A Woman In Battle, a memoir that eventually inspired me to make my indie film REBEL, or examine incredible map collections dating back to the 1400s or listen to Paul Robeson recordings.  
  6. Moving my body clears my head and helps my creativity. I like long walks or hikes, preferably in the woods or by the sea, but even just walking around the block if I don’t have much time helps. If I’m writing and have more time, I’ll rent a little spot in a village or city I haven’t lived in and experience the world through another culture for a week or a month.