Ángeles Cruz is an Oaxacan actress, scriptwriter and director from the community of Villa Guadalupe Victoria in San Miguel el Grande. She is a creator committed to her environment, who avoids Costumbrismo in the depiction of rural and indigenous realities and who has bravely decided to bring to light many of the hidden stories that take place in the communities. With her work she manages to create spaces for dialogue and confrontation in which she can address them and begin to transform them. Violence against women, child abuse, chauvinism, marginality, poverty and sexual diversity are the themes Cruz addresses with an imperious need to initiate new dialogues.
She trained at the Centre of Artistic Education Miguel Cabrera in Oaxaca and later graduated in Acting at the School of Theatre Arts of the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature in Mexico. Her acting career began in 1994 with the film La hija del puma (Pumaens datter) by Åsa Faringer and Ulf Hultberg, and was followed by a multitude of TV series and feature films until 2011 when she began writing and directing her own stories.
Her first short film La tiricia o cómo curar la tristeza (2012) deals with hidden issues such as child abuse and violence against women in communities. Thanks to this story she achieved her first major recognition from the Mexican industry, winning the Ariel award in 2013.
Her second work was born out of a similar concern. After a conversation in which it was claimed that lesbians did not exist in the communities, she decided to get in front of the camera to direct La carta (2014), the story of a woman who returns to her community to reconnect with her old love with whom she never had the opportunity to openly experience the relationship.
In Arcángel (2018) she depicts the story of two dependent, marginalised and deprived people who desperately seek a solution to their needs, and confronts them with a system that rejects and repels them.
After these experiences, the idea of making a feature film began to take shape, her debut feature: Nudo mixteco (2021). A work made entirely in her community and which deals with complex issues that are not openly exposed, such as child abuse or lesbian relationships in indigenous communities, issues that she had previously addressed in her short films and which she wanted to continue exploring. A film about women who return to the village after a vital need to inhabit other spaces in which to develop, and who, on their return, feel that they no longer fully belong there. María, Chavela and Toña, star in three stories that converge during the celebration of the patron saint’s festivities. With this film, Cruz wins the Ariel award for the second time, this time in the feature film category. A milestone in the director’s career.
Ángeles Cruz has become a reference and one of the most visible faces of Oaxacan and Mexican cinema. A voice legitimised to expose subjects that we are not used to seeing and that possesses undeniable cinematographic values at the service of a committed discourse. For all these reasons, we would like to thank her for her artistic work and recognise her social commitment with our highest award.