Playing with a Feature
MELA is playing with MANUELA
|Thursday, June 1, 2023||TCL Chinese Theaters Auditorium 3||6:45 PM PDT||BUY TICKETS|
Directed by Kristian Mercado
USA | 12 min | 2022
As a young mother and aspiring reggaeton dancer, Mela must navigate the challenges of balancing family while fighting to pursue her dreams.
Mela is a headstrong dancer and single mother, balancing motherhood and her dreams. After she has an argument with her child's teacher, Mela is forced to navigate the day with her daughter, trying her best to make it in time for an important audition. "Mela" is the story of every young Latina who struggles to define their role in society, both as a mother and as a person fighting for her dreams, all in the backdrop of a gentrifying Spanish Harlem.
Kristian Mercado Figueroa is a filmmaker from Spanish Harlem. Mercado's distinct voice addresses issues of identity, family, & systemic oppression. His psychedelic reggaeton futurist short film, "Nuevo Rico" won the Animation Jury Award at SXSW 2021, and in 2019 his shortfilm/music video "Pa'lante" won a Jury Award at SXSW. In 2020 his screenplay Hawkbells won several screenwriting awards including Slamdance's Screenwriting Award. He has been the recipient of awards and grants from Cinereach (2020) and McKnight Foundation (2019) for his feature and short work.
|Type of Film||Short|
|Country of Origin||USA|
|Year Film Was Completed||2022|
|Social media Handles||@melafilm, @krismerc|
|Produced by||Debora Perez, Andrew Nisinson, Jenn Zarr, Meilin Gray|
|Written by||Kristian Mercado|
|Edited by||Reuter, Kristan William|
|Music by||Keysokeys, IFE|
|Sound Design||Joshua Madoff|
|Art Direction||Sophia Scalzo|
|Main Cast||Mela Murder, Summer Castillo, Caridad De La Luz, Sharlene Cruz|