AUMA is a 2D fantasy, action-adventure short film that follows an indigenous Latinx teenage girl in a psychological journey towards self-discovery. With the help of her mentor, an enormous mythical owl, Auma is put through surreal trials where she fights for her freedom in the belly of the beast and learns how to fly through the sky.

  • India Alvarez
  • Desiree N Rangel
  • Dane Bryant Frazer
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    action-adventure, dark fantasy, psychological
  • Runtime:
    1 minute 45 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
    Puerto Rico
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Central Florida
Director Biography - India Alvarez

Indianna Alvarez-Sanchez was born and raised in Puerto Rico and now resides in Orlando, Florida, as a 2D character and effects animator and filmmaker. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus and majored in the Audiovisual track of the school’s Public Communications Bachelor’s Degree. She continued her education in art and animation through the Emerging Media Animation and Visual effects Master’s Degree program at the University of Central Florida. Inspired by works from Disney, Pixar, Studio Ghibli and anime television shows, her goal has always been to create compelling stories and unique characters that reflect the unrecognized history of her country through 2D animation. Throughout the years, she was worked on the student films Pétalos (2018) and A New Light (2020) and her academic paper about “Avatar: The Last Airbender’s” influence on female gender roles in animation was chosen for a “micro talk” proposal for the Society for Animation Studies Animate Energies Conference. Her latest film, AUMA (2022), is her first independent 2D film with an anime style where she expresses themes of mental health in the Latinx community.

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Director Statement

AUMA was created with the hopes of shining a light on an unseen culture and misrepresented people through the lens of anime. In order to tell this story, I relied on the medium of 2D animation to best illustrate Latino culture, the nature of Puerto Rico, Taino mythology, and surreal imagery through character designs and backgrounds. This story stems from a combination of western storytelling and an anime style that has influenced me as I grew up in a US colony, constantly trying to find my identity as a person and an artist. By combing all of these elements, I built a fantastical world with an entertaining story that lets me understand and explore complex subjects, such as mental health in Latin American families and modern colonies. Finally, this film and its titular character were made to add to the growing library of animated Latinx stories and to educate others about Puerto Rico’s forgotten history.