Rodrigo Barriuso


Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Rodrigo Barriuso is an award-winning, Cuban-Canadian filmmaker whose areas of interest include writing, directing and producing. He studied film and art history in Toronto and London. With a marked interest in art theory, Rodrigo's cinematic approach is highly influenced by the conceptual and aesthetic values that often inform the world of visual arts. His work has been exhibited in numerous festivals and cultural institutions in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. 

His debut feature film, Un Traductor, which he co-directed with his brother, Sebastián Barriuso, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2018 as part of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition and received the Golden Goblet for Best Director at the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival, among other awards and nominations. 

His current project is Epochal, in which a transgender woman’s self determination and identity are challenged as she faces Alzheimer’s in a transphobic nursing home. 

Rodrigo lives and works in Toronto.

Links to Work:

Un Traductor - Official US Trailer

Creative Resources:

  • Havana – There is something about spending time in a place as difficult to fully understand as Havana. It reminds me of the importance of spontaneity and adaptability. Then there is all the light, colour, music, art, dance, ocean…
  • The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery – A great public art gallery in Toronto, well know for often looking beyond Canadian art and presenting audiences with artistic content produced by artists living and working outside the Western world.
  • The Art Bulletin – I started reading this art history journal regularly while I was doing my MA in contemporary art history. After graduating I kept the subscription and its articles and critical reviews continue to inform my understanding of the possibilities of art.
  • The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (formerly Cinema Journal) – This journal is another source of critical articles that foster engaged debates and rigorous thinking around film, television and digital media.
  • Instagram – I try to keep my feed away from too many selfies and food picture. Following artists, curators, filmmakers and other creative types helps me humanize them and get an insight into their processes (as carefully crafted as this may be). It has also introduced me to fantastic work produced by artists operating outside the conventional systems. 
  • Toronto Public Library System – For those of us working at home: sometimes the only way to get over that writer’s block is leaving the apartment. I love the comfort of my own desk and having everything handy but also dig working from a quiet library and feeling that I’m part of a larger community. Writing can be a lonely experience. 
  • Cinemas – I still believe that the best place to watch a film is the movie theatre (unless the filmmaker created the film for another platform). There are a few venues in Toronto that push for indie/foreign language films that often don’t get wide distribution. 
  • National Ballet of Canada – I try to see everything. I’ve seen the company grow over the past 12 years since I moved to Canada and the development has been remarkable. I always go to the ballet on my own; it’s a beautiful moment for me.
  • Working Out – Because it takes so long to develop and make films, we can be a bit deprived of the sense of immediate satisfaction. Working out, whether at the gym or walking 10k, clears my head and gives me the instant feeling of having done something good and productive.