Still from Life and Nothing More, written and directed by Antonio Mendez Esparza ‘08

Antonio Mendez Esparza ‘08 Nominated for Two Independent Spirit Awards

BY Ijaaz Noohu, February 19, 2018

UPDATE: Life and Nothing More, written & directed by Antonio Méndez Esparza '08, will open the Film Comment Selects series at the Film Society of Lincoln Center this month.


Alumnus Antonio Mendez Esparza ‘08 was nominated for not one—but two—Independent Spirit Awards for his feature, Life and Nothing More, which he wrote and directed. The film was nominated for Best Female Lead, and the John Cassavetes Award. 


The synopsis of the film: Standing on the edge of adulthood, Andrew yearns to find his purpose as a young African-American in today’s America. With his mother longing to find more to her life than parenting, Andrew is forced to take on the mounting pressure of family responsibility. His search for connection with an absentee father, leads him to a dangerous crossroads.


The acclaimed film has played at the top film festivals around the world. It played at the Toronto International Film Festival (alongside films like The Shape of Water and Ladybird), where Variety named it one of the 10 Best Movies of the Festival. It was also received with acclaim at San Sebastian Film Festival, Miami Film Festival, AFI Fest, and many others.

Since graduating, the Antonio Mendez Esparza has made a series of short films dealing with Mexican immigrants in the United States. His first feature Aquí y Allá, was selected in the competition of La Semaine de la Critique in 2012 and winner of the Nespresso Grand Prize and the Caméra d'Or. He is also a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.