Maria Agui Carter is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and long-time media diversity advocate. She was born in Ecuador and grew up in New York City.
Formerly an in-house producer for WGBH-TV, she founded Iguana Films in 2000, and writes, produces, and directs both dramatic and documentary works broadcast and screened internationally, in English and in Spanish. Her most recent documentary and trans-media series SciGirls on PBS, for which she served as series production advisor and directed the opening episode, was nominated for a 2019 Emmy award.
Selected other recent features include: No Job for a Woman, PBS (Producer), and Rebel, PBS (Writer, Director, Producer), winner of the 2014 Erik Barnouw Honorable Mention Award as best historical film in America, and also winner of the 2014 Gutsy Gals film award for best feature film/documentary of the Americas. Rebel premiered at Frameline Film Festival and toured in theaters, universities and community screenings across the country.
Also a playwright, her play 14 Freight Trains, about the first American soldier to die in Iraq, an undocumented Latino, premiered at Arena Stage Fall 2014.
Ms. Agui Carter is currently working on two media projects. The Secret Life of La Mariposa, a feature film for which she wrote the script. It is a magic realist fable about an undocumented teen who uses her imagination to escape her grueling reality. She has been invited with her project to the Sundance Latino Screenwriter's Project Lab, the New York Stage and Script Lab, the Cine Quan Non Lab, and the LA Sundance Director's Intensive Lab led by Gyula Gazdag and Joan Darling. Ms. Agui Carter will direct, with Producer Barbara DeFina (Goodfellas, Age of Innocence, You Can Count on Me, Silence) attached.
Her new social justice media project is in production with funding from PBS working titled The Esparza Project. Patricia Esparza has spent the last six years in prison for a crime committed 20 years ago; the killing of her rapist by her boyfriend. This is a film about crime and punishment in America, about justice and the possibility of redemption.
Ms. Agui Carter is a former Board Chair and Trustee of NALIP (The National Association of Latino Independent Producers) and serves on its Women's Board. She is a member of the Writer's Guild of America, East, and serves on its Diversity Coalition. She has been the winner of a Warren Fellowship in History, Corporation for Public Broadcasting Fellowship, George Peabody Gardner Fellowship, and Rockefeller fellowship in Latin American Studies, among others and has been a visiting artist/scholar at Harvard, Tulane and Brandeis universities.
She has been a panelist, judge, and/or speaker at film festivals and industry conferences, foundations, and film funds, including NEA, NEH, ITVS, LPB, IDA, ITVS. She has been a featured speaker at national conferences and Summits including Smithsonian, White House Latino Heritage Forum, UnidosUS, Sundance Film Festival, the Allied Media Conference, the Provincetown Women's Summit, Tribeca, DOC NYC and Harvard. She is the founder of ARC (Artist Retreat Center) NALIP, an arts residency for women filmmakers and screenwriters of color. She has also served as a mentor for other producers through labs and programs at NALIP and Firelight Media.