Paco de Onis

Paco de Onís

Paco de Onís is the Executive Director at Skylight, a human rights media organization dedicated to strengthening social justice movements through cinematic storytelling and catalyzing collaborative networks of artists and activists.

In 2011 he produced GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR (world premiere at Sundance 2011), a documentary detective story focused on the role of filmic and archival documentation in the prosecution of a genocide case against Guatemalan generals, and launched GRANITO: EVERY MEMORY MATTERS, a companion mixed media project developed to restore the collective memory of the Guatemalan genocide. One year after the release of GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR, the dictator of the title was charged with genocide and put on trial in Guatemala.

Skylight’s 2017 film 500 YEARS chronicles Guatemala’s recent history through the perspective of the indigenous Mayan population. Paco also served as the producer on THE RECKONING: THE BATTLE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (world premiere Sundance 2009), a documentary accompanied by IJ Central, an interactive audience engagement initiative promoting global rule of law, developed at the BAVC Producerʼs Institute in 2008. Prior to that, he produced STATE OF FEAR, a Skylight Pictures film about Peruʼs 20-year “war on terror” based on the findings of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Prior to his work at Skylight he produced documentaries for PBS (ON OUR OWN TERMS with Bill Moyers), National Geographic (SECRETS FROM THE GRAVE), and a range of other programs.

Skylight’s 2024 release BORDERLAND brings the saga of their Guatemala trilogy–WHEN THE MOUNTAINS TREMBLE (1983), GRANITO (2011), and 500 YEARS (2017)–full circle back to the U.S., from the impact of U.S. foreign policy that backed brutal regimes leading to the root causes of migration, to the present situation of mass migration from Central America.