Javier Badillo (1978) is a Venezuelan-Canadian writer-director and producer whose films mix magical realism with themes of displacement and belonging, inside compelling underdog stories. After an early career as a touring punk rock vocalist and a stint as a TV animation artist, Javier switched to live-action independent filmmaking in 2008.
Under his production company Spitshine Flicks, Javier's films have screened and won awards at numerous Canadian and International film festivals, including the Leo Awards, Chicago Children’s, Cinéfest Sudbury, Toronto Black Film Festival, and the Harrogate Film Festival, among many others.
In 2022, Javier directed his first feature length film, ROADS OF ITHRIYAH, which he co-wrote and produced with friend and actor Shayan Bayat. The self-funded, crowdfunded, grassroots-produced war drama tells the story of a Syrian combatant who suffers a concussion in the desert battlefield and forgets his past, and what side of the war he was fighting for - allowing him to reconstruct his memories, atone for past misgivings, and seek a way out of the war. The film premiered to a sold out audience and standing ovation at the MENA Film Festival on November 24th, 2021, in Vancouver, and was released internationally on VOD.
Badillo’s 2022 follow-up feature screenplay, co-written with partner Nat Marshik, is the Latinx sci-fi punk-rock comedy LUPE Q AND THE GALACTIC EARWORMS. The script received development funding from Telefilm and CreativeBC, and was selected as a participant in the Blood in the Snow Development Lab in Toronto, in November 2021.
BABA, a cross-cultural, interfaith short drama Javier co-wrote in 2021, won Best Short Film, Best Writing, and Best Actor at both the 2022 Reelworld Film Festival, and the 2022 Vancouver Short Film Festival. The short film was a Top-6 selection of the prestigious Crazy8s Competition in Vancouver, and was a collaboration between Javier and his friends and collaborators Jay Kamal (dir) and Panta Mosleh (prod).
Javier is producing his first documentary feature film, titled ENMANUEL. The subtle, intimate film follows a Venezuelan child called Enmanuel and his family as they learn to adapt to their new life as refugees in Colombia. The film is directed by photojournalist Ty Snaden and executive produced by Charles Officer (Unarmed Verses, Akilla's Escape).
Javier is actively involved in his community. He was the Director of Programming for the Vancouver Short Film Festival from 2012 to 2020 and has served on the board of the Venezuelan Canadian Society of BC (VCSBC) since 2020. Javier won the 2019 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award for his contributions to Canada’s pluralistic society, and in 2018 he was nominated for the "Most Inspirational Latin" Award (Arts and Culture) by the Latincouver Society.