"Growing up Latino and gay, I never saw myself in any of the characters or stories available in mainstream media, no mirrors reflecting back the experiences I share with my community. The stories I choose to tell are my attempt at putting some mirrors in the world—large, authentic mirrors."
Born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and educated in Manhattan, Justin Bonilla is an unapologetic creature of New York City. As a wide-eyed undergraduate at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Justin balanced his time between finding his voice in cutthroat film writing courses and stimulating his craving for beautiful images through technical camera courses. His minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies helped uncover his fascination with queer and intersectional narratives, informing the types of stories he strives to share with the world as a gay Latino. After graduating NYU, Justin worked as an archival researcher on the 2014 Sundance Official Selection Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger directed by Joe Berlinger. During that time, his short film Con Quién Andas made its world premiere at the Miami Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival. In 2017, he co-created and wrote Rabbit Hole: Stupid Ass Witch, which premiered at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival. A traitor to the city that shaped him, Justin now resides in Los Angeles where he works as a development assistant to TV writer and playwright Annie Weisman as part of her overall deal at Universal TV. In his free time, Justin facilitates LA Boyz Speak, a biweekly discussion group for young queer men at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and coordinates AFTERTHOT, a monthly supper club for queer creatives of color.