Carlos Hurtado recently returned from Frane and the highly regarded film festival of all festivals, Cannes, where he was one of 22 finalists chosen to exhibit their short films, in his case Dear Dad, at the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmakers Showcase. The amazing thing is that this is Hurtado’s second turn at the non-public festival, industry only film fest. In 2014 Hurtado was invited to Cannes with his first short Hollygrove which screened in the Short Film Corner. We venture to say, this won’t be his last time being invited to Cannes.
Since his days as a film student at Loyola Marymount University Film School (LMU), Hurtado has been gaining a following and making award-winning films. During his time in school, he was awarded a Kodak Grant for a short film and was co-nominated for a Student Academy Award/Oscar for his short Subject 1 which was also broadcasted on television for 10 years on KCET. In 2014, he was selected as “One of the Top 200 Directors” for the HBO show “Project Greenlight” (from executive producers Ben Affleck & Matt Damon). Hurtado was also selected to work at DreamWorks SKG Studios during his tenure at LMU Film School.
To date, Hurtado has amassed over 116 Nominations from National & International film festivals. He’s won 51 Awards in just four years since his return to film after taking a nine- year hiatus to manage the family business. His work has been seen at the Austin Film Festival (Academy Award accredited festival), British Broadcasting Corporation Music Video Festival, UCLA Short Takes (where he won Best of Show), at the prestigious European Festival – Sehüchte International Film Festival (where Subject 1 won the Producer 1st prize).
Hurtado seems to have found an “award-winning short film formula” which allows him the opportunity to create, and at the same time help non-profit organizations promote their mission. It also gives him the luxury of full creative control, working ala Robert Rodriguez being the writer/director/executive producer/editor and producer. To date, having creative control has served him well.
His first short Hollygrove is an 8 minute live/animation documentary about Hollygrove, a building once home to Marilyn Monroe and now a non-profit organization whose mission is to help kids in crisis and make an impact in their lives. Hurtado was introduced to the work of the organization by friend model/singer Ruby Stewart, Rod Stewart’s daughter. From concept to script and final product, the results were a visual live action/animation story of healing. Narrated by Monse, a former child in crisis, who shares how Hollygrove helped her learn to trust and love herself again after experiencing trauma and despair. It has been received five Best Documentary Awards and one Best Concept, at Los Angeles New Wave Film screening at the Cannes Film Festival (Short Film Corner) and it opened the door for future artistic endeavors.
After the success with Hollygrove, Hurtado created and produced the short Dear Dad in collaboration with ROGER TV (as he did with Hollygrove). Originally created for PADRES Contra El Cancer (Parents against Cancer), an organization committed to improving the quality of life for children with cancer and their families. In addition to screening at Cannes, Dead Dad has been making the festival rounds and helping PADRES raise awareness about cancer at special screening at Dodger Stadium during PADRES’ charity celebrity baseball game.
For now, Hurtado is excited to being close to achieving his goal of directing his first feature film in his native Mexico. He told us he is working to make it happen by late 2017, early 2018. Meanwhile, he keeps busy shooting shorts, commercials, music videos and documentaries, which by the way are also award-winning.
Currently Hurtado is putting the finishing touches on his feature screenplay. Without getting into specifics, he would only say, it is a low budget film dealing with death transitions and a time machine. He is also 30 pages into another script, which already sounds like a box office hit; a Tim Burton inspired film, the kind millennials seem to like, vampires and all.
He credits his parents who put him on track to achieve his dream of being a director, which he had at the age of five growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico. Always supportive, his parents told him that to be able to accomplish his goals, all he had to do think big, get an education and work hard. He took that to heart and Hurtado is on a mission to reaching his goal. With all he has accomplished, we look forward to seeing what Hurtado will create next. To say that Carlos Hurtado has a bright future in Hollywood, is an understatement.