El héroe

El héroe (English: The Hero) is a 1994 Mexican animated short film written and directed by Carlos Carrera. It won the Short Film Palme d'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.[1] It was the first Mexican film to win the Short Film Palme d'Or and it is considered a milestone in Mexican animation.[2][3][4]

El héroe
Film poster
Directed byCarlos Carrera
Produced byPablo Baksht
Written byCarlos Carrera
Music byGabriel Romo
CinematographyJorge Mercado
Hugo Mercado
Edited byDaniel Medero Reyna
Animation byCarlos Carrera
Release date
Running time
5 minutes


In a crowded subway station in Mexico City, a man watches a girl acting strange. He realizes she might be attempting to commit suicide by jumping to the tracks. The man tries to stop her, but she accuses him of being a molester and insults him. After the man is taken away by a police officer, she jumps in front of the oncoming train.[5]


El héroe was Carlos Carrera's third professional project after his directorial debut La mujer de Benjamín and La vida conyugal. The film was produced by the Directorate of Short Film Production of the Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía (Mexican Film Institute).[2]

The film consists of 2800 hand-drawn images, the images were drawn on cel using pastels. Most of the animation was done by Carrera himself.[6]


The film was awarded the Short Film Palme d'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.[1][2] It also won several other awards including the Ariel Award for Best Short Fiction Film, the Golden Coral for Animation at the 1994 Havana Film Festival and special recognitions at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and 1996 World Festival of Animated Film Zagreb.[3]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient(s) and
Result Ref(s)
1994 Ariel Award Best Live Action Short Film Carlos Carrera Won [7]
Cannes Film Festival Short Film Palme d'Or Carlos Carrera Won [8]
Havana Film Festival Grand Coral – Animation Carlos Carrera Won [9]
San Juan Cinemafest Pitirre Award – Best Animation Carlos Carrera Won [10]
1995 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Recognition – Short Filmmaking Carlos Carrera Won [11]
1996 Animafest Zagreb Special Mention Carlos Carrera Won [12]


El héroe was the first Mexican short film to win the Palme d'Or and it was the second time a Mexican director was awarded the Palme d'Or since 1946 when Emilio Fernández won the Grand Prix with María Candelaria.[4]

Though it was not the first Mexican animated film, Carrera's short film and its award at Cannes are credited for bringing attention to animated films to the Mexican film industry and to a new generation of Mexican filmmakers.[13][14]

Since, El héroe, Carrera has made a few animated short films. In 2017, he premiered Ana y Bruno, an animated feature film with an estimated budget of US$5.35 million, making it the most expensive animated Mexican film.[15]


  1. "EL HEROE – Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  2. "El héroe, de Carlos Carrera". moreliafilmfest.com (in Spanish). 20 July 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  3. "El héroe, ver en linea en Filminlatino". filminlatino.mx (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  4. "A escala: El Héroe". enfilme.com (in Spanish). 7 August 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  5. "'El héroe', corto mexicano sobre un suicidio en el metro" (in Spanish). Televisa. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  6. "Cortometraje: El Héroe de Carlos Carrera". cafematutino.com (in Spanish). 4 April 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  7. "Histórico de nominados y ganadores" (in Spanish). AMACC. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  8. "Official Selection 1994 : In Competition". Festival de Cannes 2016 (International Film Festival). Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  9. "Havana Film Festival (1994)". IMDB.com. IMDb. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  10. "Todos los premios de las películas Carlos Carrera". filminlatino.mx (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  11. "Sundance Film Festival (1995)". IMDB.com. IMDb. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  12. "World Festival of Animated Film 1996". animafest.hr. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  13. ""Héroes" de la animación". El Siglo de Torreón (in Spanish). 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  14. Garibay Franco, Guillermo (2008). "Breve aproximación estilística y temática al cortometraje mexicano" (PDF) (in Spanish): 9–15. Retrieved 2 July 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. "Ana and Bruno, the most expensive movie of national cinema". Newsbeezer.com. Newsbeezer.com. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
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