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In Wonderland

Directed by Andrea Camacho McCracken
Narrative Short
United States | 14 min | 2023

Nina, a resilient, and tenacious 8-year-old Mexican girl is granted asylum in the U.S. and forced to stay in the custody of her estranged aunt, Carmen. Nina initially rejects her new family and escapes inside the fantasy world of her book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

As her imagination brings to life a magical rabbit hole, she follows it down in hopes of reuniting with her father on the other side. Will Nina come to terms with the truth of her past and finally embrace the adventure of a new home?

“Highlights at the 2023 Indy Shorts International Film Festival”Roger Ebert

https://www.rogerebert.com/festivals/no-moment-was-wasted-highlights-at-the-2023-indy-shorts-international-film-festival/

“Emerging filmmakers empower audiences at Heartland’s 2023 Indy Shorts International Film Festival” Cinema Femme

When I was ten years old, my little brother and I spent most evenings laid out on a twin mattress in the bathroom of my family’s Mexican restaurant. My mother was on 16-hour shifts alongside my grandmother and aunt, who all worked endlessly to keep the place running. With nowhere to send my brother and I, after a bit of ingenuity, my mother would soon transform the bathroom into our very own home theater.

I remember her setting up a box TV atop two Coca Cola crates, installing a DVD player, and signing us up for an Unlimited Pass to the Blockbuster just walking distance from the restaurant. Every day after school, I’d look forward to swapping DVDs, one after the other, gazing at the TV as adventures of light and shadow danced in that dimly lit bathroom. For a ten-year-old cinephile, this proved that magic could exist in a place I would’ve never imagined; it was as if magic could live anywhere. It never mattered that we laid out on a twin mattress in the bathroom of the restaurant, because wherever we were, we were home.

For me, home is not a place, it’s the memory of my mother’s exhaustion hidden behind a smile, it’s the caress of her worn-out hands, and the magic of light and shadow dancing in that dimly lit home theater. Home is strength, family, and unconditional love.

In Wonderland is a reflection on home and what it means to find home regardless of where you are. As much as we’ve seen films attempt to capture the immigrant experience through the struggle and trauma usually associated with its pursuit, I don’t believe we’ve done enough to celebrate the joy, the heroism, and the spirit of what it means to pursue an adventure in this country. And the courage it takes to keep going or— as we would say in Wonderland, to “follow the rabbit.”

Our film celebrates the journey of finding hope in a new home, and at last, it is an attempt to romanticize the immigrant experience as something magical and worth fighting for.

In Wonderland - Poster

In Wonderland - Andrea Camacho McCrackenAndrea Camacho McCracken
Director

With almost a decade of film and media production experience, Andrea has written, produced, and directed narrative films, commercials, and branded content for local and international clients such as Canon USA, Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble. She serves as the Founder and Creative Director of an Arizona-based media company, Rollcrew Media.

Andrea received a BA in Film and Media Production with a Certificate in Marketing from Arizona State University. She’s taught film production classes and mentored undergraduate students through pre-production, production, and post-production, as Faculty Associate at Arizona State University’s Sidney Poitier New American Film School.

She received her MFA in Directing at the American Film Institute in August 2022. She has received various awards and recognitions, such as AFI Awards Audi Scholar, and recipient of the Mexican-American Cultural Education Foundation Scholarship, the Irwin & Sheila Allen Endows Scholarship, and the Dr. David M Milch Scholarship.

Andrea is a proud first-generation Mexican American who tells stories that aim to question the status quo — by transforming the expected and surprising audiences by dropping a bit of culture in the mix.

She is passionate about changing stereotypes and introducing a new wave of colorful cinema that reflects her community’s vibrant stories and culture. She hopes to bring to life thought-provoking stories which are proudly inclusive and authentic, as much behind and in front of the camera.

Film Information

Director: Andrea Camacho McCraken
Country:  United States
Year: 2023
Language: Spanish
Runtime: 14 min
Rated:  G

Credits

Writer: Andrea Camacho McCracken, Nora Alameddin
Producer: Shuqi Li, Brenden Hubbard
Cinematography: Ellin Aldana
Editor: Guanqing Lin

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Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival