Photo of John J. Valadez. Middle aged man with curly black and grey hair. Wearing blue shirt and black suit coat.

John J. Valadez

Professor of Practice

Office: 270 Communication Arts and Sciences

Peabody Award winning filmmaker John J. Valadez has been writing, directing and producing, nationally broadcast documentary films for American television – mostly for PBS and CNN – for the nearly two decades.   He grew up in amid the rain-drenched hills of Seattle, taught photography in rural India, and he studied filmmaking in Greenwich Village at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Media and Information and the Film Studies Program where he teaches documentary filmmaking.

John’s work has tackled diverse subjects related to equality, race, artistic expression, and power in America: the false imprisonment of a leader of the Black Panther Party, gang kids in Chicago, the history of affirmative action, Latino poets in New York City, the re-segregation of America’s schools, Latinos in World War II, the evolution of Chicano music, the birth of Latino civil rights, The Chicano movement, and the genocide of Native Americans in the Southwest. 

Some of his major works include: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta (2016), Prejudice and Pride (2013 Latino Americans/PBS), War and Peace (2013 Latino Americans/PBS), The Longoria Affair (2010 PBS/ITVS/Independent Lens), The Chicano Wave (2009 Latin Music USA/PBS), The Last Conquistador (2008 PBS/ITVS/POV), Arise (2006), High Stakes Testing (2005 CNN), Beyond Brown (2004 PBS), Visiones: Latino Arts and Culture (2004 PBS), The Divide (2003 Matters of Race/PBS), Soul Survivors (1997 Making Peace/ITVS/PBS) and Passin’ It On (1994 PBS/ITVS/POV).

John’s films have been broadcast across Europe, and have been featured at major museums and cultural institutions like the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, The Berlin Film Festival, and the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris.  Over the years they have garnered top awards at film festivals from San Francisco to Dallas to Mumbai as well as two national Emmy nominations.

John has been a Rockefeller Fellow, a PBS/CPB Producers Academy Fellow, and has twice been a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow.  He served as Artist-in-Residence at Texas State University, as Distinguished Filmmaker-in-Residence at The University of Texas, Arlington, as a trustee of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, and was Regents Lecturer at The University of California at Berkeley.  He regularly speaks and screens his work at colleges and universities across the country.