Natalia Almada

Natalia Almada was born and raised in Sinaloa, and later moved to Chicago alongside her Mexican father and American mother. Almada is the great-granddaughter of Plutarco Elías Calles, the very controversial former President of Mexico, who would eventually serve as the subject of one of her films (''El General''). Since the age of 12, she has been interested in capturing people's lives and stories through a camera, which is what eventually lead her to want to pursue a career in film.

Almada received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the College of Santa Fe (1995), and continued her studies at the Rhode Island School of Design with a full scholarship, where she received her Master's in Photography (MFA, 2001).

Almada's inspiration comes from her positionality as a dual citizen, who grew up in two entirely opposing economic, social, and political settings, moving back and forth seasonally between Mexico and the United States. Her outlook as a Mexican-American female invites a wide range of audiences to understand social justice issues from a unique perspective in which the director is able to relate to the people in her films from an unbiased viewpoint. Almada eliminates the criminality from issues such as dictatorship and drug trafficking by looking at the issues from a lens focused on basic human needs, and the economic and political barriers that interfere.

Her films are largely influenced by her Mexican heritage, and the stories that have come to her from her experiences living in Sinaloa, as well as the stories told to her by her family. Almada's documentaries are non-linear, and are made by her directly inserting herself into scenarios so that she is able to get a first-hand perspective of the stories that she is portraying to her audience.

All of her films are deeply intimate and personal; Almada's theme of vulnerability produces a level of honesty that is needed to fully appreciate the stories she tells. The themes she explores relate to her familial history, and its connection to the corrupt conditions of modern day Sinaloa. Drug trafficking, illegal immigration, violence, loss, and Narco-capitalism are a but a few of the main topics explored in her films. Provided by Wikipedia
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