First-Gen Artists: Building a Filmmaking Career in North Texas

First-Gen Artists: Building a Filmmaking Career in North Texas
Thursday, April 18, 2024
7:00-8:30 PM
Bath House Cultural Center
521 E. Lawther Dr. Dallas, TX 75218

Join filmmaker Merced Elizondo in a conversation on how to navigate the waters of being a Latino artist in North Texas + insights on how to build and sustain a career here. Topics of discussion will include:

+ How to live a creative lifestyle when you’re the first “artist” in your family. This not only includes the experience of those with immigrant parents who perhaps might struggle to understand filmmaking, writing, painting, etc. as a career choice but also any person of color whose parents/family are afraid for their child wanting to step into the uncharted territory of making a career in the creative space.

+ How to make a film and build your career while NOT living in New York or Los Angeles. It can happen here too, and we’ll cover what it takes to make the most of the resources you have at your disposal and how to access more.

+ How to support yourself and live as a filmmaker in North Texas. We’ll discuss what this lifestyle demands of you and what you can do to stay afloat.

While much of this perspective will be told through the lens of being a filmmaker, the goal is to have an open, honest, and intimate conversation where everyone (regardless of your passion or career level) can participate and walk away having learned something valuable.

More about Merced Elizondo:

Merced Elizondo is a Mexican-American filmmaker based in Dallas, Texas.

After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin in 2016, Merced launched his filmmaking career by working on multiple productions all across Texas and served as a Production Coordinator and Producer at AMS Pictures and DHD Films. Since then, he has devoted his attention to independent filmmaking, commercials, and branded content. The Mourning Of, a proof-of-concept short film for Merced’s debut feature, won Silver at the Young Director Award Dreampitch Competition (Cannes Lions) and was awarded a NewNarratives Filmmaker Grant through NewFilmmakers Los Angeles and Warner Bros. Discovery in 2022. It’s currently in post-production and expected to premiere on the 2024 film festival circuit.

Merced was selected as a Directing Fellow for Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative in 2022, which is a program dedicated for emerging TV directors. In 2021, Merced was nominated for an Imagen Award and selected as a fellow for the Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today program, presented by WarnerMedia and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. He has also been shortlisted for a Young Director Award at Cannes Lions and honored as “Person of the Year” by the National Hispanic Institute in 2021.

His previous film, MANOS DE ORO, is a black-and-white short film that stars Julio César Cedillo, who can be seen in works such as Amazon’s A Million Miles Away, Sicario, and Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico. The film was acquired by Argo and has screened at festivals such as the the Oscar®-qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival, LA Shorts International, LALIFF, the Miami Film Festival, Bentonville Film Festival, and the “InFocus: Latinx & Hispanic Cinema” event, hosted by NewFilmmakers LA and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film won the “Best Short Film” award at the Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today program.