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Patricia Riggen was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and studied communication sciences at the city's ITESO University. Her academic experience led her to an early career in journalism, working on several newspapers with national circulation.
In 1996, Riggen began participating in professional workshops in script writing and dramatic writing. This experience led her to write a dozen documentary scripts for Mexican television as well as numerous feature screenplays.
In tandem with her scriptwriting, she became the production vice chairman for shorts at the Mexican Film Institute in 1997 and 1998, a period during which she produced or co-produced over 15 short films.
After serving as production coordinator and production manager on several commercials, Riggen began working as a first and second assistant director. Meanwhile, she received her master's degree in directing and screenwriting at Columbia University, producing and directing two medium length films, The Cornfield and Family Portrait.
The Cornfield won an Ariel (the Mexican equivalent of an Academy Award) for Best Short Narrative, the Student Academy Award Gold Medal, the Student Emmy Gold Medal and the DGA Best Latino Director Award as well as awards in Spain and Brazil. It has screened internationally on television, including on HBO in the US.
Family Portrait won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It was distributed in the UK through the Independent Film Association and in the US and Canada through Direct Cinema.
by Prof. Brendan N. Ward