Andrea Santiago, the first filmmaker from Oaxaca to be nominated for an Ariel for an animated short


In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, Andrea states that the short film was made in 2019, thanks to the fact that the production team made a plea to raise funds to complete the economic resources that would make it possible for “A la Cabeza” to see the light

While doing housework, the Oaxacan filmmaker based in Jalisco, Andrea Santiago, learned that her animated short film “A la Cabeza” is nominated for the Ariel 2021 awards.

The nomination makes the filmmaker the first Oaxacan to be nominated in the Animation category for the statuette awarded by the Mexican Academy of Cinematography. At 26, the filmmaker wrote her name in the history of cinema, with her debut in short films.

In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, Andrea states that the short film was made in 2019, thanks to the fact that the production team made an effort to raise funds to complete the financial resources that would make it possible for “A la Cabeza” to be completed.

After the short was finished, it participated in various festivals where it had a very good response, despite the continuous delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, “A la Cabeza” was screened remotely at festivals in Montreal, Havana, Catalonia, Taiwan, among others at the international level.

In Mexico, the short was selected to be screened at the Morelia Film Festival, as well as at the Monterrey Film Festival, where it is currently being screened. Faced with the impossibility of traveling with the short film, the presentations are made at a distance. Andrea acknowledges that the health emergency partially affected the short film’s festival route.

“For us, the nomination is a respite, a breath of air in the midst of the uncertainty that the pandemic brought. The Ariel opens other windows for the short to be shown on other circuits and personally, it gives me much more strength to promote other projects ”, says Andrea.

Regarding the nomination, she remembers that she was at her home, in Guadalajara, where she moved to study cinema; however, she did not have any expectations of winning a nomination.

“When they began to announce, I went to the page and at the end, a friend handed me the cover where our nomination appears … and I got too excited, I immediately notified my family and my work team,” she details.


So far, she emphasizes, “the 20th is not over for her,” and although she would like to celebrate with her production team, so far, the celebrations have been virtual. “I feel very excited because it is my first short.”

In this regard, the filmmaker explains that to get to the eve of the Ariel, it is necessary that a tape is registered and has copyright, certificate of nationality, informational notes about it, that it has participated in film festivals, and complete the aspirational registration for the awards.

The work of Andrea and her production team, she says, has received various comments, specifically, her work in “A la Cabeza”, has been recognized by other filmmakers for its originality and quality.

During her visit to Spain, the quality of the work of the Oaxacan woman, who also produced her production far from the state capital and with a limited budget, was recognized. “As a woman, I have always come across people who tell me that it is very valuable that we are behind the cameras because that work will allow us to generate female characters, from the gaze of other women, with real perspectives,” she says.

Andrea adds that she has also been recognized for her determination and tenacity, a quality that she attributes to being Oaxacan. So far, the young woman has not worked her productions in Oaxacan territory, however, she is in the process of creating ties with state filmmakers, in order to be able, in the future, to produce in the local territory.

Although the pandemic has made filmmaking difficult, Andrea and her team worked in the isolation period on a new live-action short film, which was made in the 16 mm format. “I had three takes available and I had to go out in one of those three and that’s it. This involves a lot of rigor and respect for what we are doing ”, she reiterates.


The recent production was made possible thanks to a support they won through the Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía (Imcine), with the support of the University of Guadalajara and deals with parental abandonment. “We always talk about single moms, but we never talk about the fact that behind a single mother, there is an absent father … the short is about that and all that it entails,” he says.

The short “Back to San Pedro” was made in Jalisco and the filmmaker details that it deals with an experience from her personal life. Future production will premiere at festivals.

Andrea Santiago, la primera cineasta de Oaxaca en ser nominada al Ariel por  un corto de animación | Oaxaca

The award ceremony will take place on September 25 and will be broadcast on channel 22, while applicants must remotely witness the ceremony.


The Oaxaca Post