Rudy Valdez is an Emmy Award-winning, New York City-based filmmaker committed to creating social, cultural, and political stories through a cinematic and meaningful lens. Inspired to create films as a way to have a voice himself and amplify the voices of others Valdez’s films are intimate, aim to subvert stereotypes of race and class and present ‘other truths’ – from We Are: The Brooklyn Saints about a youth football team in East New York that shows strength, community and dedication instead of the traditional poverty narrative and the deeply personal reflection on the injustice of his sister’s incarceration in The Sentence.
Born and raised in Michigan, Rudy got his start in film as a Camera Operator on the Peabody Award-winning, Sundance series Brick City and went on to be the cinematographer on a number of productions including Whoopi Goldberg presents Moms Mabley: I Got Something To Tell You (HBO) and Remembering the Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr., (HBO). He shot and directed The Sentence (HBO) over the course of a decade and it won the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, US Documentary Audience Award at Sundance and was a Critics Choice Documentary Awards Best New Director nominee. Other films of Rudy’s include feature Breakaway (ESPN), which follows WNBA superstar Maya Moore and her fight for criminal justice reform; the premiere episode of Through Our Eyes (HBO), a docu-series that explores the lives of American families from the perspective of children; and covid doc ReOpening Night (HBO), about Shakespeare In The Park returning to NYC.
Rudy has recently released the definitive feature documentary of the legendary musician, Carlos Santana with Apple TV+, and is currently in production on the Disney+ CHOIR docu-series following the Detroit Youth Choir after their star turn on America’s Got Talent. Additionally, his repertoire now extends into the scripted arena as he recently sold a genre TV Series to Amazon that is loosely based on his family and life experiences. He has brought his unique storytelling vision to moving commercial projects for clients such as Samsung and American Family Insurance.