Wayo Benavides is an award winning Director and Producer. As a new reward, he won Best Commercial at the Paris Play Film Festival with his his film “Camp Summit”.

The film is sincere, shows tons of humanity, and we wanted to know more.


Your film for Camp Summit is touching, sincere, and very human. Was it a request from the Camp because they wanted a film, or was is your idea and you offered it to them?

First off thank you for the kind words. Camp Summit was actually originally a school assignment, my professor, Lysa Ausmus, had assigned to us. The task was to basically do pro bono work for a local program of some sort.
From there it was our job to find Camp Summit and pitch this idea. My team and I came up with this concept and message of “Camp Summit is….”

Your images show the everyday in the camp in a very simple and easy manner. It makes look the camp in the work easy. Was it your objective?

I wouldn’t say our goal was to make it look easy but we did want to show how easy it is for someone with special needs to be able to partake in everyday adventures. Just like the camp we wanted to make clear, this is real, nothing should stop these people from being able to swim, ride horses, zip line, etc.

Did you meet with a lot of parents to collect the testimonies?

Parents & Counselors, we met with a lot! We wanted to really hear how these people felt and we wanted to hear from everyone what Camp Summit means to them. That is where the idea of having each person specify “Camp Summit is…” came from.


You won BEST COMMERCIAL, because this prize rewards the form and message of the films we receive in this category. But you film almost is a documentary. Did you shoot way more images and have you done or could you edit a 20 minutes ?

You know we never explored that idea but we did spend almost an entire week with the Camp and I am sure our Editor, Sarah Passon, had a lot to work with. I wouldn’t be opposed to creating something longer; Camp Summit deserves to get their story told.


Your film screened at the Telly Awards, and even won best Film/video. Is the Paris Play your first award in Europe?

That is true and yes it is! This is Camp Summit’s first time in Europe and we are so excited about it.

Tell us more about you. What studies, what credits… What are you achievements to date in film?

Well my name is Wayo Benavides, I come from a little TexMex town on the border to Mexico called Laredo TX. I have always been a fan of the arts and a huge storyteller.

I studied Digital Filmmaking & Video Production at the Art Institute of Dallas where I graduated in 2014 and received my Bachelor of Fine Arts.
I’ve been working in the industry for about 6 going on 7 years and through that time I have made MANY short films, commercials, music videos, and short docs.

I been blessed with amazing crews & talent and have won multiple awards & recognitions for these pieces. I’ve come to find my specialties are Horror Films and Documentary style stories.

I enjoy the horror for the excitement and imaginative worlds one can create but I love my doc pieces, like Camp Summit, because I get a chance to use my talent to help others and get a message out to the world. I am currently working as a Freelance Video Producer with local Austin Production Hubs like Edgen Films & PartyHat Productions.

I hope to continue to make great and engaging video content and hope one day I’ll find myself making big budget films or TV shows.

What are your next projects?

This is something I am pretty excited about actually. My next project will be my first feature film. Early this year I was interning for Austin TX production hub Edgen Films, it was here they watched and discovered my short Documentary “Life’s a Drag.”

The owners loved it so much they decided to team up with me to create a feature long version of it. So stay tuned for my next big project “Life’s STILL a Drag” : this documentary will take 4 everyday men deep into the world of Drag Queen’s where they will discover what it truly takes to be a Queen. While these men challenge gender norms our host, Alfonso Moreno aka Viki Virgo, will further investigate into what it means to be a “man” and “women” in today’s society.

This is going to be a great piece and I look forward to sharing it with the world.

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