Maria Valdez is a Guatemalan-born, California-raised, award-winning director. She was one of eighteen students selected into the prestigious UCLA film school and is a recent graduate of the MFA Writing/Directing program. She is also a Cal State University, Fullerton graduate, having received two B.A.s, one in Journalism and the other in Cinema & Television Studies.
Maria is currently participating in the Alliance of Women's Directors, Latina Director's Initiative. Her TV Pilot was selected to participate in the Read Latinx Writers Initiative. She's also participating in two mentoring programs, Women in Film and Unlock Her Potential. She is the recipient of The Hollywood Foreign Press Association Directing Fellowship, The Gerald Hughes Comedy Directing Fellowship, the Verna Fields Fellowship, The Motion Picture Association of America Award, and most recently, her thesis film VIDA won the 2022 First Place Gold Circle Award from the Caucus Foundation.
Maria has a great passion for storytelling, and her goal as a filmmaker is to tell stories that reflect the diversity of the human spirit; she wants to specialize in bringing human interest stories to life from the Latino perspective. This is reflected in her work across all genres, from comedy to drama, to action. She currently has three short films playing at several film festivals across the country.