P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Pablo Mejia, 2024

MFA, New York University (NYU)

Pablo Mejia is the child of immigrants from Mexico

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MFA in Film at New York University (NYU)

Born just across the border in Texas, Pablo Mejia spent the first years of their life with their mother in Mante, Tamauilipas, Mexico. Pablo’s early life in Mexico provided them with an essential connection to their cultural roots, family history, and was always marked by a camera: their mother regularly recorded memories through photos and videos. When economic turbulence and insecurity increased in their hometown, they immigrated to the United States at the age of six with their mother and newborn sister to join their father who worked in Texas as a day laborer.

Settling in a trailer park outside of Dallas, Pablo quickly picked up English and translated for their mother as she solicited housekeeping work door-to-door. A witness to their mother’s social exclusion and their unique perspective on both sides of the border, Pablo began to interrogate the contrasts in their life: machismo and American patriarchy; small town life and capitalist excess; cultural heritage and new ways of belonging.

At Texas State University, Pablo studied mass communication and journalism and was able to incorporate photography and storytelling into their artistic practice. Pablo embarked on several photo-ethnographic projects: retracing the path of their family’s migration from Mexico to Texas; capturing the stories of migrant families at the Tijuana border during the 2018 migrant crisis; and following the lives of undocumented construction workers in Florida.

Pablo began their filmmaking journey as a production assistant on Red Rocket (dir. Sean Baker), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021. From there, they produced, wrote, and directed their first short film, Over the Causeway, which combined their father’s migration story with that of a young musician leaving Galveston Island in search of a better life. The film premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival and won the best short film prize at the Houston Cinema Arts Film Festival. Pablo then won a grant from ArtsWave to direct Lejanía, a short film about a young migrant mother’s struggle to assimilate to her new life in the US. The film was exhibited at the National Underground Railroad Museum and premiered at the Cinedependent film festival.

Pablo is currently an MFA candidate at NYU’s Graduate Film Program, where they recently directed Equipo no. 3, a documentary short following sugarcane workers in Mante. They are currently in development for the feature film, Torres, which follows Pablo’s grandmother as she questions the aspirations of her late husband—a progressive political leader wrongfully murdered in the late seventies—and her journey raising six children alone in rural Mexico.

  • BS Advertising & Mass Communication | Texas State University 2017
  • AA | Collin County Community College District 2015
  • MFA Film | New York University (NYU)
Related Articles

The 2024 Fellows: The New York Times Advertisement

It was an exciting announcement day for the 2024 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows who were featured in The New York Times.

Read More

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships Announce 2024 Class of Distinguished New Americans

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans received more than 2,300 applications for the 2024 Fellowships.

Read More
transform="translate(188.000000, 15.000000)"