Raissa Contreras: Filmmaker & Artist

Raissa Contreras is a filmmaker & artist living in Baltimore. She has an MA in Film & Video from Maryland Institute College of Art & an MFA in Painting from University of New Mexico. She has taught film and media studies in the Electronic Media & Film Department at Towson University and art & art history at Maryland Institute College of Art, Towson University and Goucher College. She served on the selection committee for Le Petit Cannes Film Festival last May 2018. Her work has exhibited nationally & internationally. Her paintings, photographs and film stills have exhibited in New York, LA, Baltimore, Washington DC, and New Mexico and are in private collections across the country.

Her film A Great Day in Charm City just screened with the Marina Del Ray Film Festival in LA - October 2018.  Jaime & the Tamales premiered in LA and rec'd Best Cinematography for Short Doc with the Silicon Beach Film Festival in April 2018. It had its NY premiere at the Anthology Film Archives with NewFilmmakers NY in October 2017. Porkchop and the 28th St North Carolina Watermelons rec'd the Audience Award  with the Silicon Beach Film Festival Miami in Feb 2018. It also rec'd the Special Jury Award at the Southern Colorado Film Festival. It screened in LA with the Golden State Film Festival last September 2018 and in NY with the Bushwick Film Festival in October 2017.  Her work has also shown with LA Cinefest, MoMA, LACDA, the Short Film Corner at the Cannes FF, the Short to the Point FF, Bucharest, Romania, the Puerto Madero Int'l FF, the Cutting Room at the Nottingham Playhouse, UK, Experiments in Cinema, the New York Short FF, the Short FF of Los Angeles, the Golden Gate Documentary & FF, & the Festival du Cinema de Paris.

My Goal of the Day - Do my best! Make sure I laugh or at least chuckle.

My Thought of the Day - Enjoy yourself - It's later than you think.

My Action of the Day - Start with pulling on shoes & getting Spanky walked. Then one foot in front of the other after that!!

What do you love most about Your City?

It’s a beautiful city full of grit, mystery, character and gorgeous architecture.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

I do a bagel & cream cheese & hot tea if I’m getting breakfast out on week days. Used to be a breakfast regular at a place called Donna’s which had a counter & comfortable stools. Excellent omelettes and brunch fare on Sundays. There was a fire in the building and after that it never reopened. It was an end of an era. Now I go to Common Ground a coffee shop in my neighborhood in an old rowhouse - tiny & cute. I like to sit outside when I can.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – At 6 am I usually have a wet nose and/or paw in my face & I’m telling Spanky to go away I don’t want to get up just yet.

10:00 AM - At 10 am I’m generally doing emails and/or classwork.

12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal? 

For a power lunch or regular lunch Penny Black in Fells Pt. It works for both. It sits by the water and has a garden for eating outside in warm weather. It is back in the hands of its original owners - YAY!!! - and is back to being a Baltimore mainstay. Great steamed mussels, shrimp, salads and of course crabcakes. Was just there for my birthday & it was lovely.

7:00 PM -  Not every day but I try to do happy hr once a wk. Brewer’s Art Resurrection is good for the soul. If I’m not in class, I’m usually making dinner, the news is on & I’m yelling at the tv.

11:00 PM - Just giving Spanky his last walk of the day.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Earl Grey tea (at least 2 cups) & orange juice in the morning. Sometimes a coke in the afternoon (yep and not even diet). Plenty of water or herbal tea. Resurrection if I’m at happy hr. If I’m home in the eve could be Rioja, Cotes du Rhone, Sleepy Time tea - depends on the day.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

None - I guess FB is an App on your phone? Ok FB.

What should everyone try at least once?

Acupuncture! I hate it when friends have aches, pains etc and don’t try it after I’ve suggested. Makes me nuts especially when they still are suffering months, years later. Just try it!!

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I enjoy getting lost in thought while walking Spanky.