Carlos López Estrada

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Carlos López Estrada
Born (1988-09-12) September 12, 1988 (age 33)
Mexico City, Mexico
OccupationFilmmaker, music video director, commercial director, theatre director, actor
Musical career

Carlos López Estrada (born September 12, 1988) is a Mexican Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, music video director, commercial director, theatre director, and actor. Born in Mexico, he moved to the United States when he was 12 and later enrolled at Chapman University.[1]

He made his feature film directorial debut in 2018 with Blindspotting, which premiered opening night at Sundance 2018 and was subsequently released by Lionsgate Entertainment. His second film, Summertime, premiered opening night of Sundance 2020 and was released in July 2021. Carlos' third film, Raya and the Last Dragon, was released by Disney in March 2021 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 94th Academy Awards.


López Estrada directed a short film titled Identity Theft based on a one-act play written by Andrew Rothschild.[2] It stars stage veterans Bill Irwin and Kate Burton. The film premiered at the 2015 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films.[3]

López Estrada directed his first feature film in 2017, Blindspotting, starring Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. The film, released in 2018, is semi-autobiographical and based on Diggs and Casal's lives in a rapidly gentrifying Oakland.[4]

As of October 2019, Walt Disney Animation Studios announced that they were developing a feature film with López Estrada.[5] López Estrada is also set to direct a live-action/CGI remake of Disney's Robin Hood.[6] López Estrada was confirmed to direct Raya and the Last Dragon with Don Hall.[7] López Estrada left Disney in early 2022.[8] In July 2022, López Estrada joins to Nexus Studios.[9]

Music videos[edit]

López Estrada has directed videos for a variety of artists, including clipping., Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Hook n Sling, Goo Goo Dolls,[10] Reptar,[11] Passion Pit,[12] El Sportivo & The Blooz,[13] MYPET, Saint Motel, Maximum Balloon,[14] Bowerbirds,[15] Capital Cities[16] and many more.

In 2011, López Estrada directed a music video for Mexican pop band Jesse & Joy of their song "Me Voy." The video, which uses stop motion and found the production team trimming 2900 photographs in order to create the sequences included,[17] earned the title of Best Short Form Music Video at the 13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in 2012.[18] López Estrada also directed "Chocolate" from Electricidad for Jesse & Joy.[19]

In 2013, López Estrada co-directed a music video for Capital Cities’ "Kangaroo Court" which features American actor Darren Criss and American actress Shannon Woodward.[16]

López Estrada directed five videos for the experimental rap group clipping.’s major label debut titled CLPPNG. López Estrada came in contact with clipping. after befriending Jonathan Snipes, a member of the trio that makes up clipping., while López Estrada was in film school.[20] “Work Work” was the first single from the album. Stereogum detailed López Estrada's work on the videos as being, “[An] inventive, memorable, and weirdly unsettling experience."[21] This work led to many collaborations with rapper Daveed Diggs, a member of clipping.

In 2015, López Estrada directed a video for Thundercat's "Them Changes", which featured artists Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington. The song is a part of Thundercat's The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam, which was his first collection of solo material in two years and placed the artist in collaboration with various others, such as Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington, who each contributed keyboard and saxophone, respectively.[22]

In 2018, López Estrada directed the music video for Billie Eilish's "When the Party's Over".[23]

In 2021, López Estrada directed the music video for Katy Perry's "Electric" song in collaboration with the Pokémon franchise for its 25th anniversary.[24]


In 2018, López Estrada directed the second episode of the final season of Legion, titled "Chapter 21". The episode was released in July 2019.


In October 2015, López Estrada starred in an original multimedia theatre show, titled Ded!. based on the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition, which he created and co-directed with Cristina Bercovitz. He and Bercovitz had previously worked together as co-directors on the music video for clipping.’s “GET UP.” The show ran at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles and was composed of an ensemble of musicians, actors and puppeteers. The show also featured a guest performance by Bill Irwin. Living Out Loud, Los Angeles praised López Estrada's pantomime and comedic performance in the show.[25]

López Estrada directed a taping of #BARS, a live musical theatre and rap medley workshop in New York City, springing from the culmination of a six-week seminar by Rafael Casal, a poet, writer, rapper and co-creator of #BARS. The film features performances by a variety of artists, including Rafael Casal, rapper Daveed Diggs, poet Sarah Kay and nine more performers from New York City.[26]


Feature films[edit]

Year Film Credited as
Director Writer Producer Other Notes
2018 Blindspotting Yes No No No Directorial Debut
2019 Frozen II No No No Yes Creative Leadership
2020 Summertime Yes No Yes Yes Additional Story
2021 Raya and the Last Dragon Yes Story No Yes Creative Leadership
Encanto No No No Yes
2022 Strange World[27] No No No Yes


Year Title Director Actor Role Notes
2006 Las Dos Caras de Ana No Yes Lucas Sánchez 1 Episode
2007 Pasión No Yes Claudio Fernández de la Cueva 10 Episodes
2019 Legion Yes No Episode: "Chapter 21"


  1. ^ "10 Directors to Watch: Carlos López Estrada Opens Eyes with Sundance-Bound 'Blindspotting'". 3 January 2018.
  2. ^ Blakeman, Jordan "Director Profile: Carlos Lopez Estrada" Archived 2018-06-30 at the Wayback Machine The Rogue Mag, November 5, 2015
  3. ^ "Palm Springs International ShortFest Premieres Include Kristin Wiig, Jimmy Kimmel Film" Desert Publications Inc., June 4, 2015
  4. ^ "'Hamilton's Daveed Diggs & Rafael Casal To Star in 'Blindspotting' From Snoot Entertainment" Deadline, June 18, 2017
  5. ^ "Walt Disney Animation Names Directors for Four New Film Projects (EXCLUSIVE)". October 2019.
  6. ^ Kit, Borys (April 10, 2020). "'Robin Hood' Remake in the Works at Disney+ With 'Blindspotting' Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  7. ^ Yang, Rachel (August 27, 2020). "Get a first look at Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon starring Kelly Marie Tran". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  8. ^ "Carlos lópez estrada on Instagram: "After the most beautiful 3 years, my time at Disney Animation has come to an end. I love this place and all the people in it, but it's now time to keep growing ♥️ /// 📸by Kelly"".
  9. ^ "Welcome Carlos López Estrada". 5 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Booked: Goo Goo Dolls - Carlos Lopez Estrada, dir". Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  11. ^ Gottlieb, Steven. "WATCH IT: Reptar 'Houseboat Babies' (Carlos Lopez Estrada, dir.)". Video Static. 25 September 2012.
  12. ^ Klinger, Douglas. "Video Chats: Carlos Lopez Estrada on 'Carried Away (Tiësto Remix)' by Passion Pit". Internet Music Video Database. 28 January 2013.
  13. ^ Hughes, Hilary. "Exclusive Video Premiere: 'Waking World,' El Sportivo & The Blooz". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  14. ^ Bailey, Thomas. "Videos". Lopez Estrada. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  15. ^ Loring, Allison. "How LAFF's 'Eclectic Mix' Keeps the Cinematic Art of Music Videos Alive" Film School Rejects. 18 June 2012.
  16. ^ a b Klinger, Doug (September 5, 2013). "New Release: Capital Cities "Kangaroo Court" Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada". IMVDb. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  17. ^ "Jesse & Joy lanza nuevo sencillo" (in Spanish). TVNotas. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  18. ^ Gottlieb, Steven (November 16, 2012). "Director Carlos Lopez Estrada Wins Latin Grammy for Jesse & Joy Video". Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  19. ^ "Video de Jesse and Joy dirigido por Carlos López Estrada" (in Spanish). Retrieved November 20, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Sawyer, Sam "Meet the Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada, the Man Behind Many of clipping.'s Videos", Sub Pop Records, December 5, 2014
  21. ^ Helman, Peter (August 5, 2015). "Jonathan Snipes, Daveed Diggs, & Signor Benedick The Moor – "12:00am" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  22. ^ Blistein, Jon (July 21, 2015). "Samurai Sits, Stares in Thundercat's Odd, Sad 'Them Changes'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  23. ^ Schneck, Anthony (January 2, 2019). "The Best Music Videos of 2018". Thrillist. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  24. ^ Minsker, Evan (May 14, 2021). "Katy Perry Shares Video for New Pikachu-Inspired Song "Electric"". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2021-05-14. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  25. ^ Ross, Jeremy "Review: "Ded!" - A Drop-Dead Funny and Original Multimedia Play" Living Out Loud - LA, October 11, 2015
  26. ^ Lloyd Webber, Imogen "Odds & Ends: Daveed Diggs' Next Project, Meryl Streep Takes the Stage as Donald Trump & More", June 7, 2016
  27. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (December 9, 2021). "Disney Unveils Animated Movie 'Strange World' With Thanksgiving 2022 Release Date". Variety. Retrieved April 3, 2022.

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