Elaine was born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1980. Always fascinated and curious about the study of creative thought in Western culture, from art movements to literary expressions, she decided to pursue her undergraduate degree in Literature at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB) in Caracas; program that also involved an intense study in History of Art, Philosophy and Languages.

Elaine started writing poetry at a very young age; and in 2005 she won, along with 10 other poets, one of the national poetry contests, receiving as a reward a text publication with one of the most important literary houses in Venezuela (CELARG). In parallel, her interests for documentary photography and filmmaking was being developed through many independent courses taken since 2000 in Venezuela (Roberto Mata, Imagomundi) and in the University of the Arts in London, allowing her to work, exhibit and publish her documentary photographs several times. In 2006, a Venezuelan filmmaker saw her photography work, and fascinated by her eye, asked her to work on a 20th Century Fox production: “Elipsis”, as the advertising, making-of and still photographer; a movie that allowed her to work with the most important talents in Venezuela.

Throughout this dual and never quarreled inclination towards images and words, she decided to pursue Documentary Filmmaking in 2008 at the New York Film Academy, where non-fiction visual storytelling became an artistic and intellectual space that allowed her to explore the humane by combining creative writing and deep research, with her instinctive motivation for visual aesthetics and photography. Elaine has worked in social issues related to aging in the current American society, and also worked on making “machinima” (machine + cinema), embracing new filmmaking techniques, also exploring and documenting with a computer camera the life of real characters within 3-D virtual reality settings like Second Life. (Continue below)

biography

After graduating, she worked at the Brooklyn-based production company Flicker Flacker Films, as the assistant editor for a History Channel feature-length documentary "The Naturalized", having the opportunity to work with the important Emmy-winner documentarian Aaron Lubarsky. After being accepted for an internship at Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanics in the Original Production & Development Department, she moved to Miami, where she currently resides.

In 2011, Elaine co-founded The Lunch Box Gallery; a small but vibrant and cutting-edge creative space devoted to artistic contemporary photography in the Wynwood Art District of Miami. At the gallery, they showed and supported the work of emerging regional, national and international artists with a particular emphasis on contemporary photography and its new trends; and where forms like conceptual, fine art, essay, documentary and mixed media photography were subjects of exploration. Elaine and her husband decided to close the gallery in 2014, but continued with the photography studio, where she currently works on commissions that can go from personal photography to food and product, editorials, music, events etc. Elaine also offers video services as long as they are non-fiction and involve a documentary approach.

Elaine, in parallel, pursues her own stories and documentaries; being the last one, "Uncanny: The Dolls of Mariana Monteagudo" (2018), a short film renowned Venezuelan plastic artist currently residing in Florida, Mariana Monteagudo; her creative process and her inspirations behind her intriguing, eerie and culturally hybrid doll sculptures, all made of repurposed materials that were originally waste. In the film, we closely follow Mariana into the creation of her new doll series “Uncanny”, and topics like capitalism, immigration, maternity, contemporary art, terror and the repurposing of objects are explored. At the moment, the film is within the festivals circuit, being screened in different film festival in the US. It has already been winner of Best Documentary 2019 of the Miami Independent Film Festival and Audience Award from I'm Not Gonna Move to L.A. festival.

In addition, Elaine owns a brand of reversible dog bandanas named AVANTBark; where designs aim to have a concept and a meaning based on diversity, freedom of visual speech and acceptance.

© 2011 by Elaine Minionis

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