In the award-winning Peruvian film Undertow (Contracorriente), Cristian Maercado plays the role of Miguel. As a fisherman in Cabo Blanco, Miguel’s life is pretty ordinary. He has a good job at sea and his wife is pregnant with the couple’s first son. However, Miguel also has a secret gay lover: a local painter by the name of Santiago. During a freak accident, Santiago drowns at sea. His ghost visits a distraught Miguel, asking him to locate the body so he can be buried properly. Miguel agrees to search for the body, as villagers discover nude paintings of Miguel in Santiago’s home. When Miguel’s wife discovers the love affair between Miguel and Santiago, she is heartbroken, and leaves Miguel alone with the ghost of Santiago.
Born in Bolivia, Cristian Mercado is an up and coming South American film and theatre actor. Fluent in three languages, Mercado holds the distinction of being one of Bolivia’s most successful actors. Appearing in less than a dozen projects, Mercado has already won a Best Actor Award from the Rapa Nui Film Festival in Chile, and his work in the film Undertow garnered great praise at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, where the film was awarded the Audience Award for World Cinema Drama. Mercado is best known for his careful portrayal of sensitive characters.
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Cristian Mercado has been acting professionally for nearly ten years. His debut performance was as the character Ivo in the 2004 film, El atraco. Appearing in mostly Spanish speaking roles, Mercado delivered his breakout performance as Falso Conejo in the film Sena/Quina, la inmortalidad del cangrejo.
Mercado went on to appear in other award-winning film projects such as Los Andes no creen en Dios, Che: Part Two, Undertow, The 33 of San Jose, and Blackthorn. In addition to acting, Mercado also served as assistant director on the 2007 film Los Andes no creen en Dios.