Patricia Cardoso

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Patricia Cardoso
Born Bogota, Colombia
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
University of the Andes (Colombia) [1]
Occupation Film director

Patricia Cardoso is a Colombian-American film director and professor. She was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia until her family immigrated to the United States of America in 1987. While in Colombia, she earned degrees in archaeology and anthropology and then came to California to study film. She has directed, produced, and written various films and television programs. Currently, Cardoso works as an adjunct faculty member at University of California Los Angeles School of Theater, Film, and Television.[2]

Early life[edit]

Cardoso was born in Colombia to two architects where she then spent a large majority of her life until she and her family immigrated to the United States of America.[2] In Colombia, she earned both an archaeology and an anthropology degree from University of the Andes (Colombia). She then worked as a teacher at Universidad Javeriana and later on moved to become the assistant director at the Colombian Institute of Culture.[2] She was the first Colombian to be awarded a Fulbright scholarship for film studies and pursued this degree at the University of California at Los Angeles graduating in 1994.[3]


After receiving her bachelor of arts from the University of the Andes (Colombia) and master of fine arts from the University of California at Los Angeles, Cardoso began as an intern at the Sundance Film Festival and was a research assistant to Oscar-winning documentary filmmakers Terry Sanders and Freida Lee Mock. Her short story, Big Blue Bus, won the Santa Monica Bus 70th year Anniversary Writing Contest.[2] She then began her film directing career with a series of short films, beginning in 1989 with Aisle of Dreams. She followed with The Air Globes (1990), The Water Carrier of Cucunba (1994), and The Kingdom of Heaven (1994).[3] She then later became director of Sundance’s Latin American program for five years and did programming for the Sundance Festival. She directed, produced, and wrote many films and television series throughout this period. Her UCLA student film The Water Carrier of Cucunba won a Student Academy Award as well as two Directors Guild of America awards.[2]

Funding for most of her films has been through the Hubert Bals Fund, the McArthur Foundation, the National Institute of Health, Focine, HBO, and sales to Channel Four England, SBS Australia, Showtime Networks, and Sony.[1] As a filmmaker she has worked with Universal, Disney, HBO, Sony, Lifetime, Film Independent and Ciby 2000 and is currently a member of Directors Guild of America.[4]

Previously, Ms. Cardoso taught for seven years at University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Art and is currently at her alma mater, University of California Los Angeles School of Theater, Film and Television, teaching film directing, writing and production.[1]


Real Women Have Curves[edit]

Her feature film, Real Women Have Curves debuted on HBO and was the performance that launched actress America Ferrera's career. Filmmaker Aurora Guerrero was an assistant to Cardero during production of the film. Cardoso's film was created and based off Josefina López's play Real Women Have Curves (play).[3]

The Kingdom of Heaven[edit]

Patricia Cardoso directed, produced, and wrote this drama about a blind man who is faced with deciding whether or not medical advancements are improving or detracting from his life.[5]

Nappily Ever After[edit]

Directed by Patricia Cardoso and written by Tina Gordon Chism, a short film and comedy starring Halle Berry [6]

The Air Globes[edit]

This film is a drama about a child and Christmas in Colombia which was directed by Patricia Cardoso.[7] This short film made $40,000 and was only created with $5,000.[4]


A 1998 drama produced by Cardoso about an older, mysterious woman who challenges the main characters ideas of romance. Directed and written by Francisco Velasquez.

The Water Carrier of Cucunuba[edit]

A student film made by Cardoso which won awards such as Festival Prize, Crystal Heart Award, DGA Student Film Award, and Gold Medal Student Academy Awards.[8]


Lies in Plain Sight[edit]

Her recent work includes directing the made-for-television feature Lies in Plain Sight (2010)[9] with Martha Higareda and Chad Michael Murray. A drama about a blind college student who after discovering her cousin's suicide, realizes her family is keeping dark secrets from her.[10]

Meddling Mom[edit]

In 2013, she directed another made-for-television feature, Meddling Mom (2013)[11] starring Sonia Braga.


Year Award Festival Nominated work Result
1996 Festival Prize Black Maria Film and Video Festival The Water Carrier Won
Crystal Heart Award Heartland Film Festival Won
DGA, Student Film Award Student Academy Awards Won
Gold Medal Won
2002 Youth Jury Award San Sebastian Film Festival Real Women Have Curves Won
Visionary Award La Femme Film Festival Won
Audience Award Sundance Film Festival Won
Grand Jury Prize Nominated

Cardoso also has received these awards and distinctions:[4][12]

  • National Board of Review
  • Smithsonian Institution Recognition Award
  • UCLA Filmmaker Of The Year Honor
  • California Governor's Commendation
  • Hubert Bals Fund Award
  • National Board of Review Excellence in Filmmaking
  • California Governor’s Commendation
  • UCLA Filmmaker of the Year
  • Fulbright’s Recognition to Excellence


  1. ^ a b c "Patricia Cardoso". UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. UCLA. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Buchanan, Jason. "Patricia Cardoso Biography". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Patricia Cardoso". Hollywood. Hollywood LLC. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Patricia Cardoso". American Film Showcase. American Film Showcase. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Kingdom of Heaven". Hollywood. Hollywood Inc. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Nappily Ever After". Hollywood. Hollywood Inc. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Air Globes". Hollywood. Hollywood Inc. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Water Carrier of Cucunuba". IMDB. IMBDB. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Lies in Plain Sight on IMDB". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  10. ^ "Lies in Plain Sight". Hollywood. Hollywood Inc. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Meddling Mom on IMDB". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  12. ^ "Make A Film Foundation Mentor". Retrieved 2013-04-29. 

External links[edit]