“The Spotlight” is a column in which we follow under-the-radar contenders as they break ground in the awards space.

Kristian Mercado Figueroa (Director, Writer) is a Puerto Rican filmmaker based out of Spanish Harlem. Mercado’s distinct voice addresses issues of identity, family, and systemic oppression across race and class. His work is celebrated for its poetic portrayal of working-class struggles, highlighting the gaps between love and loss.

We caught up with him during an ongoing festival run, most recently at the Puerto Rico Film Festival where Nuevo Rico went home with the award for Best Animation in the National Short Film category. Read the full interview here.

Nuevo Rico A
Nuevo Rico B
Nuevo Rico C
You May Also Like
Read More


Dina Amer talks to FTW about going from print to screen, the importance of having fun during filming, and how ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ drove her to tears.