Iliana Sosa is a documentary and narrative fiction filmmaker based in Austin, TX. A former Bill Gates Millennium Scholar, she was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, by Mexican immigrant parents Emilio and Maria Elia Sosa. She graduated from Franklin High School and attended Southwestern University in El Paso and earned her MFA in film directing and production from UCLA. Iliana’s documentary short An Uncertain Future, co-directed with Chelsea Hernandez and co-produced by Firelight Media and Field of Vision, premiered at the 2018 South by Southwest Film Festival, where it won a Jury Award for Best Texas Short. She co-produced the Emmy-nominated feature documentary Building the American Dream (SXSW 2019) and was field producer for the Emmy-nominated POV documentary series And She Could Be Next.
Iliana has been a Firelight Media Impact Producer Fellow, Sundance Institute Development Fellow, Women at Sundance Adobe Fellow, and Berlinale Talents participant. Her work has been supported by JustFilms/Ford Foundation, Field of Vision, Austin Film Society, and WarnerMedia 150, among others. Iliana’s What We Leave Behind, her first documentary feature, won the Louis Black Lone Star Award and Fandor New Voices Award at SXSW in 2022. It also has been featured in the True/False Catapult Retreat, The Gotham Documentary Lab, the Jacob Burns Film Center Residency, and the Logan Nonfiction Program. Iliana was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2020 and one of DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40” in 2021. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at UT-Austin.
Iliana Sosa and Maria Ella Sosa will appear with ‘What We Leave Behind’ at 7:30 pm Saturday, August 6 in the Philanthropy Theatre.