Renato Umali Headshot

Renato Umali

  • Teaching Faculty I, Film, Video, Animation and New Genres


MFA, Film, UW-Milwaukee
BA, Music, Northwestern University


Renato Umali is a performer, filmmaker, and musician. He writes and directs the annual Umali Awards, an absurdist re-imagining of an Oscars-style awards ceremony. His recent films include Diaries From Guatemala (2015), a mash-up of two diaries, a personal one and one kept by the Guatemalan Army's Death Squad, and Frida Was Here (2016), an investigation into a disputed trove of Kahlo artifacts and ephemera, as well as a rumination on authenticity. His ongoing interactive work, "I Learn Something New Every Single Day," was profiled in Drawing From Life, the Art of the Visual Journal by Jennifer New (Princeton Architectural Press, 2005). As a musician, he performs live piano accompaniment for silent film, and has collaborated with other filmmakers by composing soundtracks. He also teaches classical piano. At UWM, he teaches Film Score Studio, Multicultural America, Animation for the Web, and Intro to Digital Arts.