SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- This has been a noteworthy month for Bay Area cinematographer and filmmaker Andrés Gallegos, who graduated from San Francisco State University with a master of fine arts in cinema in December. His thesis film, Shoe Shiner, made its U.S. debut at the Mill Valley Film Festival and earned Gallegos, 32, an American Society of Cinematographers Student Heritage Awards nomination in the graduate student category.
“What I do for a living and what I want to keep developing is cinematography,” says Gallegos.
Set in his native Talca, Chile, Shoe Shiner takes place in 1989 at the end of the country’s 16-year military dictatorship as 11-year-old Diego (Patricio Jara Marabolí) ekes out a living on the streets shining shoes and selling newspapers. Although the film concerns itself with recent Chilean history, it was inspired by stories Gallegos’ grandfather told him of his youth as a shoe shiner.