Dawn Valadez


Public bio

DAWN VALADEZ is a filmmaker, social worker, artist, youth development specialist, resource wrangler and impact strategist. Her award-winning feature documentary, GOING ON 13 (with Kristy Guevara-Flanagan) premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. It follows the stories of four preteen girls of color as they transform from 9 year old little girls into 13 year old teen women. The verite style film shares the experiences of becoming young women in modern America, Valadez is currently directing and producing two feature documentaries – TEACHER LIKE ME (in production) and THE PUSHOUTS (in post), that are thematically related to each other and to her first feature documentary. Rolling out in 2017 and 2018 the films will complete Valadez's trilogy on race, class, education, and coming of age in the 21st Century United States. TEACHER LIKE ME (2018) tells the stories of adults traveling a new educational pipeline: from city streets back into classrooms but this time, as educators. Hoping to revitalize the system that failed them, these teachers in training work to break the cycle of high turnover and outsider teachers in their communities’ schools. The film is supported by the San Francisco Foundation Documentary Fund, Cal Humanities and the Tribeca All Access Alumni Documentary Fund. Valadez advises on documentary films and public engagement campaigns. Valadez serves as the Vice President of the board of the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) and is a review panelist for a number of public documentary and media funders. She was selected for residencies and fellows programs such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Producer's Academy, BAVC Media Makers Fellowship, NALIP's Latino Producer's Academy and Media Market, and the Women of Color Filmmakers' Artist Residency Center.