Samantha Aldana is a director and writer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has been drawn to tell stories containing magic, lore, and otherworldliness since she started putting her stories on screen when she was 12 years old. Her work is heavily influenced by the storytelling traditions of her multicultural upbringing in the American South and the Caribbean.
Her first feature film, Shapeless, was selected as a 2020 fellow of the IFP Narrative Lab and premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. Samantha is an alum of the NBC/Universal Diversity TV Director Program where she had the opportunity to shadow director Salli Richardson-Whitfield on SYFY's The Magicians and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Samantha is the recipient of the Belize Film Commissioner’s Emerging Storyteller Feature Film Award for her in-development feature Little Lying Wild. This film was also selected to participate in the Tribeca Film Institute Network and the Emerging Voices Program at the New Orleans Film Fest.
Her short film The Melancholy Man screened at Comic Con, premiered as a top pick on The Film Shortage, and was awarded Best Narrative Film in the Audience Awards Women's Film Challenge. She received the Best Director Award for her short film These Wild Things at the NYC Damn! Film Series, and the Jury Award for Best LA Short Film at the New Orleans Film Festival. Her short Si was featured on PBS and was awarded Best Short Film and Best Cinematography at the International KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Her film Porcelain won the Jury Award at the Boston Independent Film Festival.
Samantha holds a BA in Film Directing from Columbia College Chicago and is a member of WIFT and NALIP.
Photograph by Nick Shamblott