The Picture Thief

Pablo, a film director from Oaxaca, shoots his new film: a love story between Schéhérazade, a restorer recently arrived from Finland to the town of Tehuantepec, and Arcadio, a disillusioned local painter. Suddenly, Lázaro, the actor who plays Arcadio disappears...

Writer and Director: Juan Pablo Villalobos
Producer: Louise Riousse, Laterna

Juan Pablo Villalobos (1988) was born in the Zapotec town of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. At the age of 17 he emigrates to Mexico City to study History and later to study cinematography at the CUEC of the UNAM.

At the CUEC, he takes classes from the notable film critic Jorge Ayala Blanco and also receives workshops from masters of world film criticism such as Jonathan Rosenbaum and Roger Koza. During his time at the school he writes and directs fiction and documentary short films, as well as becoming a cinematographer for many more.

In 2020, out of school, he directs his first medium-length feature film called What Has Your Continuous Wandering Been So Far? which won in the same year the Young Jury Award for Best National Film at the Black Canvas Festival of Contemporary Film.

In 2021, he was Valentin Merz's first assistant director for his feature film De noche los gatos son pardos, which premiered in official competition at Locarno 2022, and was selected for Rotterdam in 2023, among other prestigious festivals. 

In 2023, Juan Pablo was part of the Locarno Filmmakers Academy, along with 19 other international filmmakers. 

This same year he premiered the short film Xquipi at the Morelia International Film Festival, where it received the El Ojo award for best fiction short film. 

As a cinematographer he has worked on short films such as Los Exiliados by Sebastián del Valle in 2019 and La Balahna by Xóchitl Enríquez which had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022.

Juan Pablo is currently developing his first fiction feature The Picture Thief.