In the world of cinema, there are storytellers, and then there are visionaries. Erika Oregel, a Mexican filmmaker, is undoubtedly the latter. Her groundbreaking short film, "The Border," has not only captivated audiences but also garnered recognition and awards in prestigious festivals worldwide. Now, Oregel was honored for her exceptional directorial work at Semana de Cine Migrante in Mexico City and New York, marking another milestone in her illustrious career.
"The Border" is a powerful and evocative short film that has left an indelible mark on the hearts of viewers. Recognized by IMCINE in 2018 and awarded as the Best Short Film at renowned festivals such as Shorts Mexico and the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF), this cinematic gem sheds light on the struggles faced by families living in Mexico's most turbulent border states. Through her lens, Erika Oregel brings to life the gripping stories of those caught in the crossfire of violence and uncertainty.
But Erika's journey in the world of filmmaking is not just about accolades and awards. It's a testament to her unwavering commitment to telling stories that matter. Her passion for storytelling and her desire to give a voice to the voiceless has driven her to create films that resonate with audiences on a profound level.
Erika Oregel's talent and dedication have not gone unnoticed on the international stage. In addition to her recognition at Semana de Cine Migrante in Mexico City, she presented "The Border" in New York. This opportunity comes courtesy of Raúl Jorge Paz Rangel, Consul of Communities at the Consulate of New York, who has been a staunch supporter of cultural talents like Oregel since 2014. Erika's work transcends borders, and now she has the chance to share her impactful storytelling with a global audience.
Erika's filmmaking journey is a testament to her resilience and passion. As a Latina filmmaker expanding her career in the United States, she recognizes the importance of showcasing stories like "The Border" abroad. In her own words, "This story portrays the struggle experienced by hundreds of families along the borders of Mexico's most violent states. It's important to showcase these stories abroad because that's where the majority of Mexicans who have had to migrate due to these situations reside."
Beyond her work as a filmmaker, Erika Oregel is a trailblazer in every sense of the word. With experience in media content leadership, she has built teams and managed content in film, FinTech, and EduTech industries in more than 15 countries. Her earlier works, such as "The Ninth Oven" and "Domingo," have also received critical acclaim and awards, showcasing her versatility as a storyteller.
"When you build together, you build better."
Erika's philosophy centers around collaboration leading to superior outcomes, exemplifying her motto: "When you build together, you build better." This guiding principle has not only shaped her career but also underscores the profound impact of her work. During an interview with Our Latinx Magazine, Erika's passion for collaboration and the power of storytelling was evident. She believes that when people come together to build, they create something far more profound and impactful than when they work in isolation. It's a philosophy that resonates deeply with her creative process and her dedication to using film as a platform for social change.
In mid-December, I had the privilege of interviewing Erika, and her unwavering dedication, profound commitment, and fervent passion for using film as a vehicle to convey the untold stories of her culture and heritage left an indelible mark on me. Her ability to give voice to the marginalized and shine a light on the issues that matter most is a testament to her artistry and her role as a storyteller.
As Erika Oregel continues to receive accolades and recognition for her exceptional work, it is evident that she is not just a filmmaker but a visionary who is changing the narrative of Mexican cinema. Her journey from Mexico City to New York is a testament to the power of storytelling, the resilience of the human spirit, and the impact that one person can have on the world through their art. Erika Oregel is not just a filmmaker; she is a force of nature, and her films are a powerful testament to the enduring power of storytelling to inspire, inform, and engage audiences worldwide.
Erika's work is a call to action. It challenges us to confront the harsh realities faced by those living in the shadow of violence and uncertainty. It encourages us to stand together, build bridges, and use our collective voices to bring about positive change. In a world where borders often divide us, Erika Oregel's "The Border" reminds us of our shared humanity, our shared struggles, and our shared responsibility to create a better world.
In Erika Oregel, we find not just a filmmaker but a guiding light, a testament to the transformative power of art and storytelling. Her journey stands as an enduring source of inspiration for aspiring filmmakers and storytellers worldwide. It vividly demonstrates that armed with talent, unwavering dedication, and a profound commitment to effecting change, one person has the potential to reshape the world. Erika Oregel isn't merely a filmmaker; she is a visionary, a masterful storyteller, and a catalyst for profound change. As we applaud her remarkable achievements, let us also celebrate the immense power of cinema to shine its light into the darkest corners of our world, reminding us of our shared humanity and inspiring us to collaboratively forge a brighter and more compassionate future for all.