The Friends Behind the Love...

Friends We Love Founders: Mike & Moni Vargas

Friends We Love Founders: Mike & Moni Vargas

Friends We Love (FWL) consists of various initiatives including short-documentary series, educational programs and experiential events, including art installations, festivals and film screenings. Founded by husband and wife team Mike and Moni Vargas of Nuyorktricity, FWL's mission is to CREATE, EDUCATE & ELEVATE through the arts. Our programming seeks to inspire dialogue and self-expression with an emphasis on cultural exchange, community building and collaborations between our online and offline communities.

Since its inception in 2008, FWL has independently produced over 100 mini-docs which have been seen in over 135 countries, implemented educational initiatives with local high schools and universities and organized arts & music festivals with some of New York's best known street artists and bands. FWL prides itself in high quality, socially conscious content that ultimately benefits the greater good.


Moni Vargas is a Colombian-born multimedia artist whose work spans through music, theater, photography, writing and video production. Her music career began as a DJ on college radio while earning an International Relations degree from American University in Washington, DC. Since then, she has shared billing with artists such as Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Mos Def and performed in England, France, Japan, Colombia, Indonesia, Canada and the Philippines. Moni’s profound love of music led her to work in theater as a music director, scoring various plays including original music and remixing for Blue Man Group. As an on-stage DJ, she earned a Helen Hayes Theater Award nomination for the production, Flow. As a video and stills photographer, she has worked for clients like Sony Music, Adidas, Verve Records and Giant Step with photos published in numerous magazines including Rolling Stone, Spin, The Fader, Luire Japan and Time Out NY. In 1999, she began her work as an Associate Producer for documentaries broadcast on Discovery’s Travel Channel, Court TV and Channel Four in the UK. In her spare time she photographs and DJs around the globe. Currently, she produces, directs, shoots & edits at Nuyorktricity, with her husband and partner, Mike Vargas.

Mike Vargas is the founder and head hancho of Nuyorktricity, a multi-media familia comprised of motion pictures, music production and photography. As a New York native and Film BFA graduate from SUNY Purchase, Mike brings a fierce artistic passion to his independent filmmaking, writing, and photography.  His cinematography credits include Estilo Hip-Hop, a theatrically released feature length documentary that chronicles the rise of hip-hop activism throughout Latin America ( It premiered at the HBO Latino Film Festival and aired nationally on PBS in 2009. In addition, Mike has shot and edited innumerable live events, music videos and promotional packages.  His recent clients include Will Smith / Overbrook Entertainment, Nike, Pepsi, Absolut, Philips, Diesel and G-Unit / Interscope Records. Mike recently self-published his first book of street life photographs, which were exhibited at The Brecht Forum in downtown New York. He has also begun production on his next comedic film project entitled, "Disguise The Limit."  Along with client-based productions, Mike and his wife, Moni, produce Friends We Love - a short documentary series exploring the creative process of artists and creators.


- Independently produced 90 short films for the 3 web series featured on the FWL site since 2008 - Produced videos for clients including Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, NIKE, NIKEiD, Diesel, Pepsi, Reebok, Absolut, Philips, Interscope Records, Sport in Society - FWL Branded Channel and commissioned 10 part original series - Japanese commercially released the Friends We Love CD mixed by Moni through label Toy’s Factory & Luire Magazine, January 2009


Exhibits / Screenings Brooklyn Museum of Art, First Saturday, October 2010 Bronx Museum, First Friday, October 2009 Brecht Forum, Photo Exhibit & Screening, July 2008

Conferences Kidult Youth Leadership Conference: Panel Moderator, Mentors, June 2010 SMart Camp: Panelist at social media conference as it relates to the arts; NY, NY, March 2010 Annual Human Rights Leadership Forum: Rhythm and Flow, Presentation, screening & filming for video presented to administration of President Barack Obama; Northeastern University, Boston, MA, May 2009

Lectures / Presentations WorldTown v3: Screening, panelist & performance at cultural series exploring new interpretations of world music; Chattanooga, TN, Spring 2010 The New Design High School, Presentation, screening & ongoing volunteer series with new media students; NY, NY, Spring 2010 State University of New York, presentation & screening; Purchase, NY, Spring 2010 Westchester Educational Media Center, presentation & screening; NY, Winter 2009 Friends We Love to Talk T.O. presentation & screening at Manifesto Community Projects; Toronto, Canada, Summer 2009 Montage Independent Filmmakers series, screening; Toronto, Canada, Summer 2009 The Renaissance Charter School, presentation & screening; Queens, NY, Fall 2008


Film Festivals Bicycle Film Festival: London, UK / Tokyo, Japan / Zurich, Switzerland / Sydney & Melbourne, Australia / Milan, Italy / Toronto, Canada / New York, Salt Lake City, Orlando, Portland, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, USA, Summer 2009 Loisaida Cortos Latino Film Festival, New York, August 2008

Music Festivals Java SoulNation Music Festival, Java Indonesia, October 2009


Winner Brooklyn Museum Target First Saturday visitor-curated event, October 2010 Winner Current TV Leaderboard competition from 9,000 other submissions. Selected to be broadcast to 51 million households on Current TV worldwide, March 2009

Contact Us: • Moni Pineda - Co-Founder, Producer, Director, DP | • Mike Varags - Co-Founder, Director, DP, Editor | • General Information |

Social Engagement: • Twitter |  FWL Twitter Page • Facebook FWL Facebook Fan Page • Linkedin | FWL Linkedin Page • Flickr | FWL Flickr Page • Tumblr |  FWL Tumblr Page • Twitter |  Moni Twitter Page





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Create- Educate - Elevate