Dr Alejandra Canales is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with an extensive career in directing, producing, curating and programming. In 2005 she was awarded a scholarship to complete her MA Hons at AFTRS. In 2011, she completed her Doctor of Creative Arts from the renowned Institute of Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. Alejandra was the co-Founder and co-Director of the inaugural version of the Antenna Documentary Film Festival (Sydney, 2010) and was part of the programming team for several years.
Alejandra is an experienced educator across documentary and screen media, both practice and theory. Since 2019 Alejandra has held multiple roles at AFTRS, including Senior Lecturer in Documentary and Program Convenor for the Master of Arts Screen.
She has been an artist in residence at numerous prestigious international programmes such as 5 Sur 5 in La Louviere, Belgium (2006) and IDFAcademy in The Netherlands (2008). She has also been awarded multiple art scholarships and prestigious grants, including the Ian Potter Cultural Trust (2009). As a grounded community educator, Alejandra is grateful and honoured to have had the opportunity to design and lead short training courses with First Nations communities in Australia, remote communities in Chile, and refugee youth in Western Sydney. More recently, she has been part of several mentoring programs such as Leading Lights for the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), MentorHer for Women in Film and Television (WIFT) and Curious Women for Curious Works.
Her documentary work as both director and producer has been broadcast on ABC and screened at several festivals worldwide, including IDFA (The Netherlands), Sheffield DocFest (UK), CPHDOX (Denmark), Cinema del Donne (Italy), Vision du Reel (Switzerland), The International Documentary Association in Los Angeles; Melbourne Film Festival and Sydney Film Festival.