Rudy Valdez to Serve on Sundance Film Festival’s Competition Jury

Rudy Valdez is headed to Sundance for an important role…

Sundance Film Festival organizers have set 16 alums from past editions to serve on its Competition Jury, with the Latino Emmy-winning filmmaker among those making the list.

Rudy ValdezValdez is known 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 commitment to uplifting unheard voices while shining a light on cultural, social, and political moments not only reveals suppressed stories but also sparks meaningful 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.

His credits include The Sentence, Carlos, The Last Patrol and Prison Dogs.

In addition to Valdez, in the U.S. Documentary Competition, the list includes Debra Granik, Adrian Tomine and Lena Waithe in U.S. Dramatic Competition; Shane Boris and Nicole Newnham in U.S. Documentary Competition; Jennifer Kent, Mira Nair and Rui Poças in World Cinema Dramatic Competition; Mandy Chang, Monica Hellström and Shaunak Sen in World Cinema Documentary Competition; Christina Oh, Danny Pudi and Charlotte Regan in Short Film Program Competition; and Zal Batmanglij in the NEXT competition section

“The Sundance Film Festival is known for discovering and platforming visionary emerging artists. We cannot do this without our jury, who so thoughtfully help us recognize and amplify the next generation of independent storytellers,” said Festival Director Eugene Hernandez. “We are thrilled to announce the talented, accomplished artists who comprise this year’s jury.”

Commenting on the fact of jurors’ participation in past festivals, Director of Programming Kim Yutani said that “they know what it is to introduce new work to the Sundance community and we are so pleased to be able to welcome them back to Sundance to take in the films our programming team has curated. We can’t wait to see what resonates with them.”

Feature award winners at the 40th edition of the Utah festival will be announced at a ceremony at The Ray Theatre in Park City on Friday, January 26th, with short film jury winners to be announced at the Shorts Awards & Party on Tuesday, January 23rd. In addition to meting out prizes, members of the Competition Jury will participate in celebratory programming, ranging from talks and panels, to a special 40th edition trivia night, and a party for artist alumni.

The 2024 festival is taking place in person in both Park City and Salt Lake City from January 18-28, with a selection of films to be made available online across the country from the 25th to the 28th. Films in competition categories awarded by the jury will be screened in person and via the online festival platform from January 27-28.

Rudy Valdez Agrees to Overall Unscripted Deal with Imagine Documentaries

Rudy Valdez has a new unscripted partner…

The Latino documentary filmmaker has agreed to an overall unscripted deal with Imagine Documentaries.

Rudy ValdezAs part of the agreement, Valdez will develop, direct and executive produce new nonfiction projects for the studio through his Bluff Road Films banner.

The two-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker started his career as a camera operator on the Peabody Award-winning, Sundance series Brick City and went on to direct his passion project on HBO’s The Sentence.

Shot and directed by Valdez over the course of a decade, this feature documentary tells the very personal story of his sister’s plight in the criminal justice system, while tackling subjects like mandatory minimums and sentencing reform.

“It has been wonderful to work with Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, and the entire Imagine Documentaries team through the years,” said Valdez. “They have entrusted me with telling a variety of stories and have always supported my vision and approach. This new partnership will allow us to continue to create inspiring projects together and for me to expand, not only in the stories that I am able to tell, but also in my efforts to create a platform that fosters new voices. Along with this new deal, I’m excited to announce the launch of my production company, Bluff Road Films. Steered by an intimate storytelling approach, my team and I will aim to amplify unheard voices. Having the support of Imagine as we ramp up our efforts and take on new projects is invaluable.”

His most recent projects include Sony Pictures Classic’s Carlos and Choir on Disney+.

Both projects are produced by Imagine Entertainment and will premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Festival.

Carlos, the definitive feature documentary of Carlos Santana, follows the artist’s lifelong journey from 14-year-old street musician to 10-time Grammy winning global sensation.

Choir is a six-part docuseries, following the Detroit Youth Choir after their star turn on America’s Got Talent.

“As longtime collaborators of the extraordinary Rudy Valdez, Imagine is thrilled to formalize our unique creative partnership with Rudy and further bolster his prolific documentary impact,” said Bernstein, president of Imagine Documentaries.