Portal:Venezuela/Selected bio

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Manuel Trujillo Durán

Manuel Trujillo Durán (8 January 1871 – 14 March 1933) was a Venezuelan photographer who pioneered film in Venezuela. Trujillo was most successful as a photographer, though he dabbled in other industries and is best remembered for his connections to the fledgling film industry in Venezuela. He became one of the first people from Latin America to learn how to show films; he was thought for many years to be the director of Venezuela's first films, and traveled through Venezuela and Colombia with projectors to introduce cinema to this part of the South American continent.

At age 14, Trujillo began studying at the Colegio Federal de Varones, where he excelled in arts and sciences. In school he was a contemporary of Udón Pérez, who would become a famous poet. Both knew each other in adulthood, as the men worked next door to each other.

In 1896, Trujillo founded his "El rayo de luz" (English: "The ray of light") photography studio at 6 Venezuela Street, in front of the Baralt Theatre It was here where, starting in 1897, he would produce and develop images for his magazine of the same name. Trujillo was a photographer by trade and an associate of film technician and entrepreneur Luis Manuel Méndez; through this friendship he learned how to use a Vitascope, and be a film technician, when Méndez acquired one and brought it to Venezuela in 1896. When Méndez brought the technology to Maracaibo, it allowed him and Trujillo to show films. Trujillo then took the projectors around Venezuela and Colombia, and became a pioneer in the roles of projector, distributor and marketer.

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