Patricia Chica is a 60-time award-winning film and television director, producer, writer and editor who specializes in world-class productions in the genre of psychological dramas, thrillers, and edgy documentaries. Since the beginning of her career in the 1990’s, Patricia has directed, produced, and/or edited over 60 hours of programming aimed at the international film and television markets, including content for Sony, Showtime, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Oxygen, Animal Planet, Showcase, CBC, ARTV, and Bravo! Canada just to name a few.
The reference film site Dread Central wrote “Patricia Chica is known for making bold, edgy, and visually striking independent films” and put her on the list of the “Rising Female Filmmakers” . Variety wrote that she is “a prolific director of shorts and TV projects”. Patricia Chica is an alumna of the TIFF Filmmaker Lab, the CMPA Pre-Sales Pitches in L.A. program, as well as a recipient of the Temerty Family Fellowship – Share Her Journey Program and of the SODEC_LAB.
Patricia Chica was born in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, in the seventies from middle class parents; a mother of Italian descent and a Salvadorian father. She is the oldest of four children. Because of the civil war that struck in El Salvador in the early eighties, on January 24th, 1981, Patricia and her family fled death squads for the safety of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1985.
In 1996, she graduated (Cum Laude) from the Film Production department at Concordia University. Right after graduation, Patricia won a grant from the OFQJ to go do her professional internship at Ellabel Productions in Paris where she learned fiction cinema production in the French system. This was followed by another grant given by the Montreal Women in Film Association (FCTVM) to learn documentary cinema directing at the National Film Board of Canada.
Patricia Chica directed her first video at age 16 while still in High School (Chomedey Polyvalent High School in Laval, Quebec, Canada) and has never stopped making movies since then.
Before she became known as a director-producer, she worked for eight years as a casting director with her company ChicArt Productions. Those formative years allowed her to become familiar with the acting process and directing actors while casting projects like The List (2000) (starring Ryan O’Neal and Ben Gazarra), Bonanno: A Godfather’s Story (1999) (Showtime drama series), Quelque chose d’organique (1998), Bertrand Bonnello’s first feature starring Romane Bohringer and Laurent Lucas.
Up until 2001, Patricia conducted over 2000 auditions for films, TV series and commercials shot in Montreal and abroad. After deciding to close her casting agency in order to concentrate full time on her real passion, directing, she started producing her first professional short films and music videos (Roch Voisine, Lili Fatale, Ten Zen, Kelly Padrick).
In 1997, Patricia co-founded at age 23, a production company called Flirt Films, after her business plan won second place at the Jeunes Promoteurs contest in Montreal. Her vision with this company was to produce high-quality films directed by women and visual minorities.
Patricia Chica has a genuine interest in exploring thought-provoking themes that deal with deviant behavior and the most profound side of the human experience. She explores the “dark side” in order to find the “light.” Strongly inspired by the real-life experiences and psycho-social issues that shape people’s lives, her films always have a purpose of empowerment in mind and present an authentic and realistic portrayal of emotions and situations.
Patricia Chica has been described as a “A prolific director” by Variety Magazine and “an extraordinary director who has the ability to improve the quality of the performance of those within her film projects” by CNN Film Critic Nick Nicholson. Her visual style has often been compared by film critics to David Lynch’s and Christopher Nolan’s, but with its own wholly original voice.
The characters in Patricia Chica’s films are always heroes and heroines living on the edge, the unconventional, and non-conformist side of life but always come out strong in the end. Her films always provide a powerful message and often serve as eye-openers and discussion triggers underlining taboo subjects that question the definitions of memory, sexuality, identity and awareness. One of Patricia’s aesthetic principles is to depict strong characters living in a world of mood and tone that exhibit striking visual ingenuity, while delivering an engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining story.
Over the years, Patricia has developed a cinematic style characterized by its use of surreal imagery and meticulous editing techniques to portray the intra-psychic landscape of her characters. She uses twisted and disturbing elements within her films to shock audiences and make them think differently about hard-hitting realities. Patricia has been editing since she was 16 years old and recently took the Grand Prize for Best Editing at the Rhode Island International Film Festival 2013, an Academy Qualifying festival.
Patricia’s acclaimed personal films include La promesse (2000) (winner of 10 awards), Day Before Yesterday (2010) (winner of over 10 awards), Ceramic Tango (2013) (winner of 10 awards, 2013), Let It Out! (2013) and Serpent’s Lullaby (2014), just to name a few. She also co-directed, with British director Mike Wafer, the award-winning feature documentary Rockabilly 514 (2008) (aired on Bravo! Canada, Canal D, as well as in the US and Europe). Serpent’s Lullaby (2014) was part of the ‘Coup de Coeur’ selection of best international shorts at the Short Film Corner of the 67th Festival de Cannes. Patricia is presently attached to direct and/or produce a number of feature films including: Wolverine Hotel (edgy crime thriller, 2015), Montréal Girls (art-house dark comedy), Montréal Girls (coming-of-age drama).
Patricia Chica’s work has been curated, presented, and/or awarded at over 300 international film festivals, theatres, art centers, universities, and on television around the world. Canada, the USA, Mexico and El Salvador have presented retrospectives of her films. Patricia is also a seasoned public speaker and has given talks at numerous seminars, workshops, and panels about subjects ranging from filmmaking and directing actors to self-distribution models and the nuances of the creative process. She has participated in well over 100 of these events all over the world including conferences at Concordia University, Roger Williams University, California State University; panels at the Fantasia International Film Festival, the Toronto Fan Expo/ComicCon and the Oaxaca FilmFest among others. She was also a juror at the Magnolia Independent Film Festival in 2011.
In 2007 and 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador gave her a diploma of recognition for her outstanding contribution to the country’s cinematic heritage.
Patricia Chica relocated to Los Angeles, California (USA) in August 2014 to pursue her international career as a film director and producer.
Patricia Chica is perfectly fluent in English, French, and Spanish resulting in a loyal fan base, niche audience, and cult following internationally in each of those three markets.