Photograph by Nick Shamblott
Samantha Aldana is an award-winning Belizean-American director/writer based in Los Angeles. She is inspired by stories that use genre elements to explore the human condition and is heavily influenced by the storytelling traditions of her multicultural upbringing in South Mississippi and the Caribbean.
Her debut feature film, SHAPELESS, was selected as a 2020 fellow of The Gotham Narrative Lab and premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. The film is distributed by XYZ Films. Most recently, Samantha directed a short film titled ANGELS for 20th Digital that is currently streaming on Hulu as a part of Bite Size Halloween.
Samantha is the recipient of the Belize Film Commissioner’s Emerging Storyteller Feature Film Award for her in-development horror feature LITTLE LYING WILD. This film was also selected to participate in the Tribeca Film Institute Network, Breaking Through the Lens, and the Emerging Voices Program.
Samantha is an alum of the NBC/Universal Diversity TV Director Program and had the opportunity to shadow director Salli Richardson-Whitfield on an episode of SYFY's, THE MAGICIANS, as well as an episode of Marvel's AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Her past 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 Film Fatales, Free the Work, WIFT and NALIP.