Mexican Director Paloma Baeza Is Making an Animated Movie About Frida Kahlo

Lead Photo: Photo by Toni Frissell for Vogue. Courtesy of the US Library of Congress
Photo by Toni Frissell for Vogue. Courtesy of the US Library of Congress
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Nearly 65 years after her death, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is finding new mediums to be discovered in. Her life was the subject of a 2002 biopic starring Salma Hayek and since then there have multiple exhibitions of her work (both in physical and digital form); she’s even inspired the likes of a Barbie doll.

Now, children will get a chance to learn about Kahlo as the subject of a new animated feature.┬áThe untitled film from Lupus Films and Universal seeks to showcase Kahlo’s life and art through the “vivid palette of her works…and the colors and textures of Mexico,” according to Lupus’ managing director Camilla Deakin. Mexican director Paloma Baeza, recently nominated as one of Variety’s Animators to Watch, has been hired to direct the feature which is said to be a mix of 2D animation and live-action. In a prepared statement Baeza said it was “particularly meaningful” to get to tell Kahlo’s story. She hopes to use the film to examine Kahlo’s “deep and complex personality, as well as her relationship with Mexico’s past and its future.”

Baeza is quickly rising up the ranks as an animator, working on Alex Garland’s The Toymaker’s Secret. She also secured a BAFTA nomination for her short film, Poles Apart. It’s amazing that it’s taken this long for the animation field to pick up Kahlo’s life as an inspirational source. The artist’s beautiful use of color and surrealism is perfectly suited to an animated feature. If Coco showed us anything it’s that animation is a fantastic way of showcasing the contributions of Latino art. Little remains unknown about the specific plot: is it a straightforward biopic or not? But just the idea is enough to get the mind turning.