Rudy Valdez

D i r e c t o r / C i n e m a t o g r a p h e r

Rudy Valdez

Two-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rudy Valdez has become known in the entertainment industry for his commitment to telling powerful, diverse, and dynamic stories through an unparalleled and self-taught cinematic lens. From documenting the rise of one of the world’s best-known musicians to delving into the devastating impact mandatory minimum prison sentences can have on a family, Valdez’s dedication to shining a light on cultural, social, and political moments not only reveals untold stories but also sparks significant conversations. His ability to capture the essence of human emotion and experience has earned him critical acclaim and has firmly established Valdez as a transformative and influential figure in the world of filmmaking.


In 2023, Valdez’s six-part docuseries Choir debuted on Disney+. Valdez was also Director, Executive Producer and Cinematographer of the poignant and award-nominated documentary Carlos (Sony Pictures Classics, Imagine Documentaries), an official selection at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival and nominated for a 2023 Critics’ Choice Documentary Award for Best Music Documentary. Valdez’s award-winning documentary short Translators (in partnership with U.S. Bank) was an official selection at LALIFF and the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Tribeca X Award for Best Short Documentary.


Valdez helms Bluff Road Films, an independent production company focused on creating meaningful social, cultural, and political stories while championing equity both on screen and behind the camera. Bluff Road Films takes pride in sharing impactful human stories without limiting labels, and its critically acclaimed projects have premiered at prestigious festivals and have been distributed by major platforms such as Netflix, HBO, and Disney+, to name a few.


Raised in Lansing, Michigan, Valdez’s breakthrough project The Sentence (HBO, 2018) marked his directorial debut.  The Sentence put Valdez on the map as a director and filmmaker on the rise, winning the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, the US Documentary Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and he was a 2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards Best New Director nominee. 

Testimonial Quote

“In a world of media that is trying to often reduce otherized communities to tropes and stereotypes, we have to find room to tell stories that also uplift.”


- Rudy Valdez

Behind the Scenes

Rudy's Top Gear Picks

Cinema EOS C500 Mark II
Canon EOS R5 Body
Canon CN-E50mm T1.3 L F
Canon CN-E35mm T1.5 L F


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