Juan Pablo Reyes is a Colombian-American filmmaker born and raised in Miami, Florida. Juan works part time as a Camera Operator on local T.V. productions in Los Angeles and is also a remote translator for a local immigration office in Miami. Juan sometimes gets ideas for the characters in his films, from his immigration experience. He is currently writing his next feature film set to go into pre-production by the end of 2021. Reyes wrote and directed the short film, Alcatraz, in 2016, which was selected by five film festivals. Juan enjoyed his film classes in High School and has been hooked ever since. His dream is to direct a film starring John Leguizamo one day and is currently building his body of work. "Samland" is his feature film debut.
Samland is in part based on the director’s real life experiences. All the characters in the film are a mashup of family, friends and acquaintances. Growing up Colombian in Miami in the 1980’s at the height of the cocaine wars, he lived through some impactful moments. His mother, who has worked in immigration law for over 40 years, would also talk about the sham and legitimate green card marriages she would encounter and retell her extraordinary accounts in vivid detail. All this stuck with JP, which eventually lead to the inspiration to write Samland.
"Our job is not to figure out the how. The how will show up out of a commitment and belief in the what".