Mónica Esmeralda León
Mónica Esmeralda León
Monica Esmeralda Leon at Black Ruby interview (2016)
Mónica Esmeralda León (born July 20, 1991 in Michoacán, Mexico) is a Mexican film actress, producer and director. León is also the founder of Ave Fenix Pictures in Chicago and Los Angeles, and created La Raza filmmaking concept.
León is multilingual and speaks Spanish, English and Italian.
León wanted to show the beauty but also the violence inside her neighborhood through the medium of film. León became the executive producer of Adios Vaya Con Dios, which incorporated gang members and street artists into the filmmaking process. León dedicated the director title to the community using the term La raza.
León worked as a music producer combining different artists from around the globe, including the United Kingdom and Mexico, incorporating them into the soundtrack of Adios Vaya Con Dios. The film was first to integrate a British and Mexican rock soundtrack over a Latino urbanized film. Adios Vaya Con Dios was the Official Selection at Bel Air Film Festival being Runner-up for Best Audience Feature Film, and nominations for Best Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Director. León also shared the nomination for Best Director with La raza.
In 2017, León premiered the film Black Ruby at the London Independent Film Awards. The film earned nominations in London with Leon sharing in Best Director and Best Feature Film. She won Best Film at the Los Angeles Film Awards. The film was the first movie shot with the iPhone 7.
In 2020, León's studio Ave Fenix Pictures announced the dramatic thriller Where Sweet Dreams Die, directed by Mirza Esho and featuring actors Zachary Laoutides, Jaime Zevallos, and Alexander James Rodriguez.
León is active in community outreach and continues higher education in languages and history.
|2016||Adios Vaya Con Dios||Producer|
|2017||Arise from Darkness||Jessica|
Awards and Nominations
|2014||Adios Vaya Con Dios||Executive Producer||Bel Air Film Festival Runner up Best Audience Feature|
Bel Air Film Festival Nominated Best Jury Feature Film Directing
|2016||Arise from Darkness||Jessica||Nominated Film Invasion L.A. Best Director|
Nominated Film Invasion L.A. Best Narrative Feature
|2017||Black Ruby||Executive Producer /
|Nominated London Independent Film Awards Best Director
Nominated London Independent Film Awards Best Feature film
Nominated London Independent Film Awards Best Foreign Feature film
Nominated London Independent Film Awards Best Trailer
Nominated Rome Film Awards Best Feature Film
Nominated Rome Film Awards Best Director
Nominated Rome Film Awards Best International Film
|2018||Black Ruby||Executive Producer /
|Winner Los Angeles Film Forum Awards Best Feature Film|
- "La actriz, productora y directora Mónica Esmeralda León unificando artistas alrededor del mundo". Huellas.
- Davies, Janet (August 10, 2016). "Award-winning Latino filmmakers thrive in Aurora". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Chicagoland's own Latino film studio making its mark in cinema". WGN-TV. October 13, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- Davies, Janet (August 10, 2016). "Award-winning Latino filmmakers thrive in Aurora". ABC 7 News.
- "Ave Fenix Pictures Independent Cinema Chicago & Los Angeles". Ave Fenix Pictures Independent Cinema Chicago & Los Angeles. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
- ""Adios Vaya Con Dios"; The First-Ever Award Winning Film Made By Chicago Latino Gangs, Mexico & The UK – The Costa Rican Times". costaricantimes.com.
- Ryan Stabile. "Adios Vaya Con Dios Soundtrack as compelling as the movie". AXS.
- Crosby, Denise. "Producers credit the people of Aurora for movie's success". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- "La actriz, productora y directora Mónica Esmeralda León unificando artistas alrededor del mundo -" (in Spanish). March 25, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- "La Revolución en las Calles de Zachary Loutides" (in Spanish). April 24, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
- "The Oscars' New Diversity Rules Opening Doors, but how much?". Yahoo! News. November 7, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
- Ryan Stabile. "'When my Eyes go Dark' has a soundtrack that will keep you awake". AXS.
- Crosby, Denise. "Fox Valley shooting for new film fest, more local movies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- News, Bdaily Business. "Production company joins forces Manchester, Glasgow, Chicago". Bdaily Business News. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- "Black ruby". Film Threat. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
- "Black Review". Film Threat. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
- Hipes, Patrick (September 10, 2020). "Indie 'Where Sweet Dreams Die' Sets Cast; Rom-Com 'They/Them/Us' Wraps Shoot During COVID-19; Danny Trejo & More Star In 'The Shift' – Film Briefs". Retrieved December 5, 2020.
- "Arise from Darkness (2017)". Rotton Tomatoes. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
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