ABEO is an animated short that depicts the journey of two immigrant women crossing the Arizona desert in search of a better life. As an immigrant myself, I decided to make a film that would fight the rhetoric of “us vs them” that grew dramatically after the 2016 American election but has been a complicated sociopolitical issue for decades. My chosen technique was originally stop motion; sand animation and 2D digital techniques were added later to emphasize the development of the characters and plot. ABEO is a piece of fiction rooted in a painful reality. My wish is to awaken empathy for a marginalized group and to raise awareness of their situation.
Bren López Zepeda
Born in Mexico City, Bren López Zepeda is a filmmaker and animator based in Montreal. Her graduation film, ABEO (2018), received 5 awards and has been screened in over 70 film festivals around the world. She has worked on three productions at the National Film Board of Canada and two independent animated features at Unité Centrale/Embuscades under the direction of Félix Dufour-Laperrière. Her recent projects include a hand-painted animated short for TED-ed (2020) and a 2D animated short for the Canadian Association of Midwives 2021). She is most interested in art that challenges our worldviews through honesty, vulnerability and imperfection. Like Toni Cade Bambara, she also believes “the role of the artist is to make revolutionary change irresistible.”