Emma García-Prieto of La Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social (FUSADES, El Salvador) has won the 2019 Think Tank Shark Tank—Latin America competition for her pitch to launch a film festival dedicated to promoting liberty-oriented content in El Salvador. Generously sponsored by the Smith Family Foundation, the regional Think Tank Shark Tank competitions award $10,000 in seed funding to the winner.
La Libertad va al Cine (Freedom goes to Cinema) will be a five-day festival where hundreds of attendees will be able to watch dozens of documentaries, movies, and short films that convey the values of a free and open society. Many films already exist that deal with these principals but they are not available in El Salvador because access to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime is limited in the country. Additionally, the act of going to the movies is a luxury many cannot afford, so the film festival will offer a less expensive entertainment venue for families. By giving principled entertainment a platform with this festival, FUSADES believes that more Salvadorans will begin paying attention to their government and its policies.
“We want to communicate our principals in a way that Salvadorans can see when their freedoms are being violated,” García-Prieto explained during her pitch.
García-Prieto came up with the idea for this festival after participating in Atlas Network’s Lights, Camera, Liberty storytelling and film workshop where she watched the film Little Pink House. “That movie was incredible, it really got me to start thinking about how [stories can convey the ideas of liberty],” she said.
García-Prieto competed against Mercedes Colombres of Libertad y Progreso in Argentina, and José Beteta of Asociación del Contribuyentes del Perú. The judges were Gerardo Bongiovanni of Fundación Libertad in Argentina, Antonio Caparrós of INICIA Education Fund in the Dominican Republic, and Mariela Vicini of Fundación de Corazón a Corazón in the Dominican Republic.
García-Prieto is an alumna of Think Tank MBA 2018.