Ilana Lapid

Ilana Lapid

Director, Producer and Screenwriter

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Member Since:
September 2016
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
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About Ilana

I'm a filmmaking and educator based in Las Cruces NM. I am currently finishing a film I directed in May in Belize, Yochi.
It's a US-Belizean co-production shot in western Belize, with a cast made up entirely of Belizean non-actors from villages in Cayo district. The film is the story of Yochi, 9-year-old selectively mute Mayan boy who guards a nest of endangered Yellow-Headed Parrots in Belize’s pine savannah. His beloved older brother, Itza, returns from the city, and Yochi learns that he’s in debt and has turned to poaching – setting the brothers on a collision course. Our hope is that Yochi will raise awareness about poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, through a story that will touch people's hearts.

I'm currently running a Kickstarter to finish the film and would appreciate your support :) Check it out here:

I have a BA from Yale and MFA from the University of Southern California in Film Production. I had a Fulbright in Romania to work with visual stories of Roma (Gypsy) children, and was an Artist in Residence at Slifka Center at Yale. I've directed multiple short films that won awards at international festivals, including Red Mesa, which, among others, won Best Short at the LA Latino International Film Festival. My recent short La Catrina was selected for the 2016 Women in Film and Television International Showcase. I'm a professor at the Creative Media Institute of New Mexico State University, where I teach directing, screenwriting and border cinema. I love what I do and feel so grateful to have the opportunity to make films that can have impact.



  • Yochi

    Yochi (2016)
    Film (Short and Drama) Writer A 9-year-old selectively mute Mayan boy guards a nest of endangered Yellow-Headed Parrots in the pine savannah of Belize. His beloved older brother returns from the city and the boy discovers he's in debt and has turned to poaching - setting the brothers on a collision course.

  • La Catrina

    La Catrina (2015)
    Film (Short and Drama) Writer Grieving her husband's death, a farm worker becomes La Catrina, the Dia De Los Muertos figure of death, and journeys towards him through the landscape of the harvest.

  • Buffalo

    Buffalo (2015)
    Film (Short, Drama and Western) Miscellaneous Crew In 1877 New Mexico, Sergeant Harrison Young, a black soldier, and Officer John Wilson, a white soldier serving under the Tenth Cavalry, escort three hunters around Apache territory. Tensions rise amongst the group as the hunters discriminate against Young. As they continue their mission, Wilson reveals that his mother has fallen ill and that he needs to return home. Young shares an experience about his own mother, who passed away when he was young. Young and Wilson begin to put aside their differences. However, once the hunters come across a trio of buffalo-hunting Apaches, Young may have to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save the group and get Wilson home. Written by Julian Alexander

  • Red Mesa

    Red Mesa (2009)
    Film (Short and Drama) Writer Caught in the crossfire of her affection for her grandfather and her secret love with an undocumented worker, Lynn must decide which borders she is willing to cross. Set on a cattle ranch on the US/Mexico border, "Red Mesa" is an exploration of love, loyalty, and coming of age through a young woman's struggle with difficult choices. Written by Anonymous

  • The Sun and the Moon

    The Sun and the Moon (2008)
    Film (Short and Drama) Producer Add a Plot »

  • The Burning Plain

    The Burning Plain (2008)
    Film (Crime, Drama and Romance) Miscellaneous Crew The Burning Plain follows the story of several different people separated by time and space -- Sylvia, a woman in Oregon who must undertake an emotional odyssey to rid herself of her past; Mariana and Santiago, two teenagers trying to piece together the shattered lives of their parents in a New Mexico border town; Maria, a little girl who goes on a border-crossing voyage to help her parents find redemption, forgiveness, and love; and Gina and Nick, a couple who must deal with an intense and clandestine affair... because they are both married. Written by sundance7490 from Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Melody of Clock and Arrow

    Melody of Clock and Arrow (2006)
    Film (Short and Drama) Producer When a dying biologist is visited by his estranged father, a former physicist, they struggle to reconcile their past, their mortality and the laws of nature.

  • Everything Looks Perfect

    Everything Looks Perfect (2006)
    Film (Short and Drama) Second Unit Director or Assistant Director A schizophrenic woman tries to convince her long-lost sister that she must help an old car escape from the used auto lot, where it's being sold, before it falls into the wrong hands.

  • Jabez

    Jabez (2005)
    Film (Short and Drama) Writer A young couple coping with the loss of their baby reconnect with each other during a road-trip to the Joshua Tree desert.

  • The Dry Route

    The Dry Route (2005)
    Film (Short and Sci-Fi) Camera and Electrical Department Gayton Keller, a disgruntled radio talk show host, is on his way to Las Vegas when he pulls over to a gas station to refuel. The gas station attendant tries to start up conversation, but is unsuccessful. He tries to warn Gayton about the perils of the desert. Gayton furiously leaves the gas station to continue his drive. Unusual things start to happen as Gayton becomes stranded in a place called The Dry Route. Written by Megan Cotler

  • Urban Renewal

    Urban Renewal (2004)
    Film (Short) Producer A real-estate developer finds herself alone amidst urban ruins when she witness a crime.


  • Official Selection of Women In Film International Showcase

  • NM Centennial Award, Taos Shortz International Film Festival

  • Remi Special Jury Award at Worldfest-Houston

  • Best Narrative Short, NM Filmmakers Showcase

  • Best Short, LA Latino International Film Festival


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