Healing, Art & Culture

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Rodrigo Dorfman

Rodrigo Dorfman

Born in Santiago, Chile, in 1967, Rodrigo Dorfman is a human hyphen, constantly whirling between the identities that bind all the different places, people, languages and cultures he has inhabited since he left Chile in 1973. When Rodrigo Dorfman was six years old, he was forced into exile because of the revolutionary activities of his father, Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman. Rodrigo sets his gaze from within that wondrous space between exile, migration, hybridity and mysticism. Rodrigo Dorfman is also an award winning filmmaker, ethnographer, and multimedia journalist who currently resides in Durham, North Carolina. His company Melloweb LLC works in cooperation with NGO’S, educational and grassroots organizations, film companies and private institutions to create multimedia documentaries as a means to develop intercultural, social, scientific and political communication.

Rodrigo Dorfman’s first exposure to the world of documentary filmmaking was in 1985, when he worked as a soundman and production assistant for Teleanalisis, an underground Chilean video news gathering agency. At the time Chile was under a military dictatorship and this agency collected information outside the regular tightly controlled military channels for distribution to the outside world and for use in the poor communities, allowing Chileans to see uncensored news about their lives. This experience marked him for the rest of his life and gave Rodrigo a palpable immediacy and urgency to the emotional and aesthetic blue print of his future work.

Spanning four continents and a hundred years of personal history, his documentary feature GENERATION EXILE (2009) is a meditation on our search for identity in a world full of pain and wonder, weaving his experience of exile through the eyes of four women: a Taiwanese pianist haunted by nightmares of her past; an Afro Caribbean Whirling Dervish on a pilgrimage to Turkey; a Latina artist mourning the destruction of her community and a young American woman caught in a web of spiritual abuse. 

His documentary short ONE NIGHT IN KERNERSVILLE (2011) won the Jury Award for Best Short at the full frame documentary film festival.

As a multimedia producer, Rodrigo Dorfman has created a variety of multimedia documentaries: Gnawa Stories: Mystical Musician Healers from Morocco (2003) – one of the most extensive multimedia online documentaries about a specific culture and  KIDS GLOVES (2006) – an educational documentary for Judges, Lawyers and Social Workers who deal with “recovered” missing children.

As a screenwriter, Rodrigo Dorfman won, with his father, the 1996 Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for best television screenplay the BBC film Prisoners in Time starring John Hurt. That was followed in 1998, with Deadline, a movie for Channel 4, England and Konfidenz, a 2001 radio play for the BBC, which he co-wrote with his father. He also co-wrote Shaheed, for the BBC, a teleplay on suicide bombers, Los Angeles Open City, a pilot for HBO on Latinos in Los Angeles and Blake's Therapy for Salma Hayek's company Ventanazul.

As a producer Rodrigo Dorfman worked with Peter Raymont on A Promise to the Dead (2007), he was responsible to help find financing, write the script and set up all the locations and find the subjects and their stories. He was also the line producer in the field.  Winner of the Canada’s Gemini Award for best Social Political Documentary (2008).