Born in Peru, she moved to New Orleans as a young girl where she studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) as a teenager. As of 21, she’s been working in theatre and film, as a freelancer from production to art department in independent films, shorts, TV, commercials & music videos. This led her to a position at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles in Foreign Adaption and Post Production for the Motion Picture Group where she supervised the production of delivery of scripts, translations and subtitles for the studio feature films to be released in Puerto Rico & Latin America.
Dermer’s passion for Latino film and culture has been evident through her work and programming during the last 25 years. She was the Co-Founder, Executive Director, and Programmer of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) for the last 16 years. Under her leadership, she developed and implemented an Institute with many programs that have nourished future Latino talent and positively impacted the Latino community, such as the Latino Writers Workshops and Labs, and the Youth Program. During her tenure, LALIFF was recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Science (Oscars®) as a qualifying festival for the Academy’s Short Film Category Award. Furthermore, she developed a collaboration with the Academy’s Film Archive and established the LALIFF collection.
She was the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), the only non-profit organization funded by the Federal Government via the Corporation of Public Broadcasting created to support Latino programming for public television. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.
She has been sought after by independent films, colleges, museums and government organizations from the National Endowment for the Arts, (NEA) to the Los Angeles Cuban Cultural Festival. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) invited her to curate an indigenous film program in conjunction with their exhibition “Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World. She has lent her expertise as a speaker, panelist, programmer or reviewer in the US and around the world such as to the International Documentary Association (IDA), Sundance Institute, Laboratorio de Escritura Audiovisual de Canarias and PBS.
Dermer’s experience and knowledge in filmmaking and programming made her a key player in many international film festivals creating a platform for Latino films in Hollywood and for identifying new talent. She programmed for the Shanghai International Film Festival a Latino Film Program in 1995 (largest presentation of Latin films ever screened in China at the time) one of which won the Jury Prize Award. She also was a participant in the first ever U.S. China Film Industry Conference in Shanghai. She started at the New Orleans International Film Festival creating a Latino film program, which broke attendance of an afternoon screening at the time. In addition, she has served on the jury for many festivals including Guadalajara, Cuba, Rapa Nui and San Sebastián.
In 2013, she Executive produced a short and is currently developing her own projects. She continues to assist independent productions, program and promote Latino films & artistry. She is a supporter of the preservation of Peru’s archeological treasures, Cancer Research, and the environment.