Women’s History Month: Maria Morancho


Born in Spain and based in Wales, Maria Morancho gained a scholarship to study theatre at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and started directing theatre then under the wing of The Magdalena Project. She later worked with the former Ty Ffilm collective making short films, as well as being tutored by the ‘Red Flannel’. Her first short film ‘Thief Of Sounds’ was a runner up at the DM Davies awards, and her subsequent work has since won awards at short film festivals around the world. This year she was selected for the BFI NetWork and BAFTA Crew 2021 and is developing her first feature based on her critically acclaimed winning short ‘Mercy’.

When was the first time you realised you wanted to make films?

I was very young, 7 yrs old, when I saw ‘The Red Shoes’ dir Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, it scarred me and fascinated me. I loved the mix of media, theatre, film, dance… It planted a dream, a dare, I too wanted to wear the red shoes, I thought, but I wanted to be able to do so and live. I was an avid reader and with each story I started to imagine films in my mind.

What was the last project you worked on / made?

My latest short film was ‘Mercy’ a story of trauma and solitude of a girl trying to make sense of her baby brother dying and being adopted. It was last shown as official selection at Fes-map festival of Arts and Mental health in the Pyrenees 2018.

What are you up to now? // What is the next project you’re working on?

While in development with my first feature film, a version of ‘Mercy’. I am in post-production with my last short ‘Magic Moment’ shot in Spain and Wales last year… despite covid… about a girl trying to restore her world with a hammer and a few nails but ended up discovering the magic of words, letting go and setting them free.

Check out the many other female filmmakers telling unique stories in Wales here.