Date of Award

Summer 8-17-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Film and Media Studies

First Advisor

Andrew Demirjian

Second Advisor

Andrew Lund


Under the Skin is an animation depicting the struggles of Laila, a fictional ten-year-old Salvadoran girl child who risks her life crossing the desert to realize her dream of finding a better life in America.

Through Laila's experiences inside the American Immigration system, Under the Skin focuses on the vicissitudes and emotions that unaccompanied migrant children (UMC) arriving in the US across the US-Mexico border encounter.

By combining 2D animation and soundscapes with hand-made textures and paintings, this art film puts a human face to the ongoing immigration crisis. The organic, almost tactile universes created by these textures enhance the details of the animation to emphasize that unaccompanied immigrant children, and immigrants in general, are human beings who deserve to be treated with dignity, regardless of their skin color or their socioeconomic and cultural background.



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