Alonso Alvarez Barreda was born in Mexico City and raised in the Mexican town of Tampico Tamaulipas. After being rejected from several film schools, he enrolled at the Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas to study International Commerce, but dropped out to pursue his dream of filmmaking.
Through his mother, he met director Alejandro Monteverde (Bella, Sound of Freedom). Monteverde became his friend and mentor encouraging Alvarez to shoot his first short film. The film entitled “Historia de un Letrero” won the highly coveted Best Short Film Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. Shot entirely in Tampico with a 50-dollar budget, the film has been Official Selection in countless international film festivals, circulating in more than 200 Internet blogs gaining international acclaim and was also named one of the most inspirational films by Internet users.
Alvarez’s second short “El Descubrimiento” penned with actor Julio César Cedillo and produced by Mexican actor Rafael Amaya was his first foray in film. Shot in super 16mm, the film stars Cedillo himself (The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Sicario, Narcos: Mexico) and Mexican actor Alejandro Felipe Flores (Innocent Voices, Hasta Que Te Conocí). The film has been official selection in over 20 international film festivals, grabbing ten awards, including the “Speak Out Against Domestic Violence” humanitarian award. “El descubrimiento” was invited to be a part of the 2010 Cannes film festival, considered as one of the best cinematographic expressions against domestic violence. The film also screened several times on National TV, public schools and inside the Metro bus in México city.
His third short film “Crescendo” was entirely shot at Universal Studios in Los Angeles California. A period piece set in the 18th Century, produced by Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim and Pattie Mallette, better known as Justin Bieber mother. “Crescendo” has been official selection in over 30 international film festivals, including the prestigious Telluride and the New York Film Festival, taking over 20 international awards, including the “Hollywood Discovery Award” at the Hollywood Film Festival for Alvarez. “Crescendo” was also in consideration for the Oscars in 2013.
In late 2014 Alonso was the recipient of the Best Director award at the distinguished NBC Universal Short Film festival, as well as nominated for best writing and best film. “Crescendo” also took the award for best Actor that year. As a side project, Alonso wrote and produced “The Bench” a short film also produced by Mark Burnett, creator of hit shows “The Voice”, “Shark Tank”, “Survivor” and most recently “Luis Miguel, the series”.
In that same year Alonso was selected from thousands of filmmakers from all around the world to be a part of the first-ever HBO Access Directing program, where 4 filmmakers worked with HBO executives and directed content for them. Alonso was the only Mexican filmmaker in the program. The result of this collaboration is “The Walk”, a short film starring actor and producing partner Max Arciniega (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Unbelievable) about a Mexican man and his son who are faced with a major crisis of conscience as they try to cross the border illegally. “The Walk” has been Official Selection in over 20 International Film Festivals. This opportunity would send him to shadow on Cinemax’s TV show “Quarry”, starring Logan Marshall-Green and Peter Mullan. Later, Alonso was selected to be a part of the Fox Director’s Global Initiative, a director’s program that would send him to shadow TV shows Rosewood on Fox and “Snowfall” on FX.
In 2017 he directed 6 episodes of the TV mini-series / documentary “Legit Local Latinos” for Mitú and Metro PCS, immediately followed by an episode of the mini-series “Unbordered”, featuring singer and actress Becky G.
In mid 2018 Alonso directed Second Unit for the feature film “Sound of Freedom”; shot on location in Colombia over the course of 52 days. The film stars Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino and Bill Camp. Most recently Alonso was selected to be a part of the Viewfinder – Viacom Director’s program where he will be sent to work on a TV show for Paramount Network.
In 2019 Alonso is scheduled to make two directorial debuts. On TV in FX’s show “Snowfall” and his feature film “The Wingwalker”, starring Mexican star Omar Chaparro.