Mexico City, Mexico
Jorge Gutierrez was a Mexican-born animator, writer and director who had mainstream success in 2014 with his feature directorial debut, "The Book of Life." Born in Mexico City and raised in a tough neighborhood in Tijuana, Gutierrez found solace in drawing. The young artist showed early promise as an animator, and at 18, he was admitted to the California Institute of the Arts. Gutierrez eventually went on to earn his MFA in experimental animation from the school, and in 2001, his animated short, "Carmelo," won him a Student Emmy. "Carmelo" was also screened at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, thus providing Gutierrez with his first brush of international exposure. From there, Gutierrez was hired to work as a writer and animator on such acclaimed children's shows as "Maya & Miguel" (PBS, 2004-07) and "Mucha Lucha!" (Kids' WB, 2002-05). His first big break came in 2007 when he co-created, along with his wife Sandra Equihua, "El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera" (Nickelodeon, 2007). The show premiered on Nickelodeon in 2007, and won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation. Although the show lasted for only a season, Gutierrez continued to work as a TV animator. From 2010 to 2012 he worked as an animator on the animated series "MAD" (Cartoon Network, 2010-13), which was based on the popular comic book. Gutierrez next wrote and directed his first animated feature, "The Book of Life" (2014). Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film was both a critical and commercial success.