Betty Kaplan

Betty Kaplan is one of the few internationally acclaimed Latina directors who is truly bicultural and bilingual, having been born in New York City and raised in Caracas, Venezuela.  She has directed every genre from political thriller to a sultry, tropical western, and has crossed the Amazon and the Orinoco rivers in pursuit of storytelling.  Comedy, family drama and steamy love stories are equally her forte.  Once an accomplished ballerina who danced on the world stages, Kaplan knows each story has its unique timing, progression and movement.  Her first film, Of Love and Shadows, was based on Isabel Allendes’ best selling novel and starred Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Connelly.  Released by Miramax Films and Disney, it screened all over the world to both critical acclaim and audience approval.  Kaplan’s second film, Dona Barbara, is a Latin American classic first brought to the screen by Maria Felix.  Released by Universal, it had the honor of inaugurating Edward James Olmos’ Premiere Latino International Film Festival to a sold-out audience.  The film also introduced Univision's new Premiere movie series to an all-time high rating.  Kaplan’s third film, Almost a Woman, based on Esmeralda Santiago’s book, won the Peabody Award for “a powerful evocative new rendering of one of the most important American stories.”  It was the first Latino-themed movie in 40 years for ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre.  Kaplan has also directed numerous short films, music videos, commercials and documentaries, as well as plays.  She studied film production at New York University and the American Film Institute, and acting with Sonia Moore.  Kaplan studied ballet with Nina Novak of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and toured internationally as a dancer.  Currently, Kaplan is in development on a number of projects for film and television.