Director, Nuevo Rico

NALIP Media Summit Official Selection Q&A Session 3

Kristian Mercado Figueroa is a Puerto Rican filmmaker living in Spanish Harlem whose animated short film NUEVO RICO won Best Animated Short at SXSW’21. His directing work includes PA’LANTE (SXSW Jury Award ’19), MARIPOSA and BLACK PUMAS (SXSW ’20). Mercado has directed content for Billie Eilish, Awkwafina, Eric Andre, De La Soul, MF DOOM, Bad Bunny, and Adult Swim, among others. He’s also directed comedy specials for Hannibal Buress and SNL's Sam Jay for NETFLIX. His work was official selection at SXSW 2020 with a video for the Grammy-nominated Black Pumas and Hannibal’s MIAMI NIGHTS.

His work has screened at numerous festivals: Palm Springs Shortfest, New Orleans, Atlanta, SIFF, Havana Film Festival and more. Recently his screenplay MELA was recipient of a Cinereach grant. Mercado’s distinct voice addresses issues of identity, family, and systemic oppression. His work is celebrated for its poetic portrayal of working class struggles, highlighting the gaps between love and loss.


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