Under the Same Moon
Journalist-turned-filmmaker Patricia Riggen was shot to prominence with the critical acclaimed 27-minute length film “The Cornfield” (2002), which she directed, wrote and produced. The film brought Riggen several awards, including a Silver Ariel for Best Short Fiction Film, a DGA Student Award and a Mexican Cinema Journalists Award. The documentary “Family Portrait” (2004) won the Short Filmmaking Award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. After “The Cornfield” and “Family Portrait,” Riggen made her debut as motion picture director/producer with “Under the Same Moon” (2007).
Childhood and Family:
Patricia Riggen was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. She majored in communication sciences, which later led her to a career in journalism. It was not until 1996 that she began her involvement with professional workshop in script writing and dramatic writing. Patricia later received a master's degree in directing and screenwriting from Columbia University in New York City.
Patricia is married to Checco Varese.
Patricia Riggen got her start as a journalist in Mexico, where she worked on several newspapers with national circulation. Lured by her participation in professional workshops in script writing and dramatic writing, which she started in 1996, she began writing documentary scripts for Mexican television and also feature screenplays. In 1997, she was named the production vice president for shorts at the Mexican Film Institute, a post she held until 1998. During this period, Riggen produced or co-produced more than 15 short movies, including “Adiós mamá” (1997), “No Support” (1998) and “In the Mirror of the Sky” (1999), a winner of 13 awards and 1 nomination. In “Perfect Target” (1997), the USA/Mexico action/thriller directed by Sheldon Lettich, she was listed as second second assistant director.
Later heading to New York City to pursue a master's degree in filmmaking at Columbia University, Riggen produced, wrote and directed the medium length films “La milpa/The Cornfield” and “Family Portrait” while still at the university. “The Cornfield,” a fleshly and atrocious memory of the Mexican Revolution, premiered at the Guadalajara Film Festival in April 2002 and went on to become a critical success for Riggen. Starring Leticia Gutiérrez and Socorro Avelar as young Angela and older Angela, respectively, the film won the OCIC Award - Special Mention at the 2002 Havana Film Festival, the Student Academy Award Gold Medal, the Best East Coast Student Filmmaker Award at the 2003 DGA Student Awards, the Mexican Cinema Journalists Silver Goddess for Best Short Film, the ATAS Foundation College Television First Place for Dramatic category and an Ariel (the Mexican equivalent of an Academy Award) for Best Short Fiction Film. “The Cornfield” has shown in the US television via HBO and in many other countries throughout the globe. “Family Portrait,” played at festival screening in the US two years later on May 4, 2004, was a documentary film about impoverishment in Harlem that featured Gordon Parks. The 28-minute film netted a Short Filmmaking Award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. It was distributed by Direct Cinema LTD in the US and Canada and by the Independent Film Association in the UK.
Riggen made her feature film directing debut with “La misma luna /Under the Same Moon” (2007), which she also produced. The script, about a boy living in Mexico that crosses the Mexican/US Border to get together with his mother, was written by Ligiah Villalobos. It starred Adrian Alonso, Kate del Castillo and Eugenio Derbez. “Under the Same Moon” played at various festivals during 2007 to 2008 such as Festival Internacional de Cine Expresión en Corto, Toronto Film Festival, Austin Film Festival and Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival and won the Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Spanish Language Motion Picture at the 2008 Awards, a 2008 Young Artist Award for Best International Feature Film and an Image nomination for Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture.
Riggen is the director of the upcoming biopic/drama film “Vivaldi” (2009), written by Kevin Lund and T.J. Scott. She is also scheduled to work in “Daughter of Fortune” and “Sister in Law” (both 2009).
Sundance Film Festival: Short Filmmaking Award, “Family Portrait,” 2005
ATAS Foundation College Television: First Place, Dramatic, “La milpa/The Cornfield ,” 2004
Ariel: Silver Ariel, Best Short Fiction Film (Mejor Cortometraje de Ficción), “La milpa/The Cornfield,” 2003
DGA Student :East Coast Student Filmmaker Award, Latino, “La milpa/The Cornfield,” 2003
Mexican Cinema Journalists: Silver Goddess, Best Short Film (Mejor Cortometraje), “La milpa/The Cornfield,” 2003
Student Academy Award: Gold Medal, Narrative, “La milpa/The Cornfield,” 2003 (Columbia University, New York)
Havana Film Festival: OCIC Award - Special Mention, “La milpa/The Cornfield,” 2002