Short Bio

Ani Mercedes documents stories that serve to create prudent conversations about how the public decisions we make collectively, shape our individual lives. She is an artist, photographer, filmmaker, and educator.

She began her film career as an intern at the documentary powerhouse Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters), was an elementary school teacher (via Teach for America), and served as a White House intern. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and an M.P.A. from Syracuse University. She worked "Clark Kent" day jobs at education nonprofits, for several years, before embracing her creative "super powers."


Long Bio

Ani Mercedes documents stories that serve to create prudent conversations about how the public decisions we make collectively, shape our individual lives. She is an artist, photographer, filmmaker, and educator. 

She was a principal photographer for U.S. Senator Abercrombie during his campaign for Governor of Hawai'i, co-directed and produced a promotional video for NBA basketball player Joakim Noah's charitable foundation, provided principal transcription support on several projects (including Life Itself) for the award-winning documentary filmmaker Steve James, and directed and produced several short documentary films, promotional videos, and photoshoots for numerous organizations and brands. 

Ani began her film career as an intern at the documentary powerhouse Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters), was an elementary school teacher (via Teach for America), and served as a White House intern. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and an M.P.A. from Syracuse University. She worked "Clark Kent" day jobs at education nonprofits, for several years, before embracing her creative "super powers."

Currently she is a Field Producer at CineMia Productions -- award-winning documentary filmmaker Alexandra Codina's film company. She also founded and leads You're Already You -- an online resource that helps empower ambitious dreamers through workshops, events, and storytelling.


Fun Bio

I’ve taught children to read. I’ve directed and been in a commercial. I’ve practiced martial arts for over 10 years. I’ve been to Venice, Italy twice. I’ve stayed up all night wandering the streets of Rome, Paris, and Barcelona. I’ve lived in over six cities in the U.S. I’ve been on an airplane during a tornado. I’ve swam with sea turtles. It’s been over half of my lifetime since I’ve eaten an animal. I’ve jumped out of a plane twice, on the same day. I’ve never broken a bone. I’ve been the female lead in two theatrical productions. I’ve put jugs of water in a 110 degree desert along the U.S.-Mexico border, so people crossing wouldn’t die. I stood in the jungles of the Dominican Republic, in a small town where the roofs are made of tin as thin as soda cans, and listened as my father told me stories of how he grew up there. I put a fire out at a gas station. I’ve opened my heart and been shot down. I’ve opened my heart and been loved back. I’ve looked into the gaping craters of three volcanoes– one of which was active. I’ve developed my own photographs — yes, film. I love spreadsheets and karaoke. I’ve seen every gallery of the Louvre. I surfed and sucked at it. I skipped class to see it rain through the hole in the Pantheon. I slipped on wet marble and sprained my ankle by the Parthenon. I’ve pitched a tent by the light of my laptop and a vending machine. I believe that people genuinely care about their communities and want to engage in making the world better. I’ve painted murals. I have seen chicken’s feet boiling in a pot in a Bronx basement. I’ve had to find my friend’s homeless mother shelter so she would’ve have to sleep on the street that night. I walked into a tattoo shop on a random Monday (well, it was Purim) dressed up as a wing-less lady bug saying I was looking for my wings. I love my family and my life. I pursued my dream of starting a photography and film business. And that was all by the time I’d turned 25…