Patricia Riggen

Patricia Riggen (born June 2, 1970) is a Mexican film director. She is best known for directing the 2007 film Under the Same Moon and the 2011 Disney Channel original film Lemonade Mouth.

Patricia Riggen
Born (1970-06-02) June 2, 1970 (age 50)
OccupationFilm director, film producer and screenwriter
Years active1997–present
Spouse(s)Checco Varese

Early life and career beginningsEdit

Riggen was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco.[1] While in her home country, she gained experience in journalism and writing for documentaries.[1] In Guadalajara, Riggen obtained a degree in communication sciences, worked as a journalist,[2] then later moved to New York City, where she received her Master's degree in directing and screenwriting at Columbia University.[3] While attending Columbia, she directed two short films The Cornfield (2002) and Family Portrait (2004), a documentary, the former film won a number of film festival awards.[1]

Riggen found her way into writing and producing film, though she never thought she would end up as a director, comparing the chances of landing a career as a director to the chances of landing a career as an astronaut – slim to none.[2]

Unhappy with producing, Riggen moved to New York to pursue a career in writing. She found herself as a director after directing one exercise.[2]

Directing careerEdit

In 2007, Under the Same Moon, Riggen's first major film was released, starring Kate Del Castillo and America Ferrera.[4] Riggen partnered up with writer and producer Ligiah Villabobos for the creation of Under the Same Moon.[4] Riggen and Villabobos are both Mexican-born but relocated to the United States, and after taking many years to embrace their careers, they became extremely passionate about the work they produced.[4]

Funding for the binational film Under the Same Moon, which was started in an American studio before Riggen made the decision to direct it independently, was done through both a funding from the Mexican government, and American financers.[4] The film was very well received in 2007 at the Sundance Film Festival.[4]

In 2010, she was chosen to direct the 2011 Disney Channel original film Lemonade Mouth.[5]

She has continued to direct feature films, with her next two being: Revolución (2010) and Girl in Progress (originally titled Ansiedad)[6] starring Eva Mendes and Patricia Arquette. The film was released in 2012.

Riggen's next film was The 33, a movie based on the 2010 Copiapó mining accident.[7] The movie was first released in Chile in August 2015, coinciding with the five year anniversary of the mine collapse. It was then released throughout Latin America before going to theaters in the U. S. and the rest of the world in November 2015.[8][9]

When approached in 2010 to direct The 33, Riggen recounted her satisfaction that a woman would direct a film with such masculine subject matter.[10] The 33 was shot in the Atacama Desert in Chile, as well as two mines in Colombia.[11] Filmed in real salt mines over 35 days for 14 hour days 6 days a week, Riggen’s goal was to have the cast and crew understand what being a miner is like.[10]

In 2016 she completed the film Miracles from Heaven with Jennifer Garner, Queen Latifah, and Eugenio Derbez, a Christian contemporary story based on the book of the same title, recounting the illness and miraculous recovery of a young girl in Texas.

Personal lifeEdit

Riggen currently lives in Los Angeles.[4] She is married to cinematographer Checco Varese, with whom she has a daughter.[12]


  • Perfect Target (1997, feature film, second second assistant director)
  • Moctezuma's Revenge (2002, second assistant director)
  • Adiós mamá (1997, short film, executive producer)
  • Sin sostén (1998, short film, producer)
  • En el espejo del cielo (1998, short film, executive producer)
  • Pronto saldremos del problema (1998, short film, executive producer)
  • The Cornfield (2002, short film, also producer and writer)
  • Family Portrait (2004, documentary short film, also producer and writer)
  • Under the Same Moon (2007)
  • Revolución (2010, (directed the segment "Lindo y querido")
  • Lemonade Mouth (2011, TV film)
  • Girl in Progress (2012)
  • The 33 (2015)
  • Miracles from Heaven (2016)
  • Jack Ryan (2018 TV Series Amazon Prime)
  • Proven Innocent (2019 TV series Fox)
  • Surveillance (2019 TV Series CBS)


  1. ^ a b c Patricia Riggen bio at Fox
  2. ^ a b c Kuhn, Sarah (2008). "A Time of Renaissance" (10). Back Stage West. pp. 11–14.
  3. ^ 25 NEW FACES OF INDEPENDENT FILM 2005 Archived February 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine – FilmMaker magazine
  4. ^ a b c d e f Patricia Riggen: Love and Politics Under the Same Moon Archived September 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Disney Rocks "Lemonade Mouth" Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Eva Mendes Joins Ansiedad, dated January 14, 2011
  7. ^ Mango, Agustin (February 8, 2014). "Miner Drama 'The 33' Begins Filming in Chile". Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  8. ^ Campbell, Christopher. "THE 33 TRAILER: REVISIT THE STORY OF THE CHILEAN MINING ACCIDENT". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Coggan, Devan; McGovern, Joe; Sperling, Nicole (October 30, 2015). "Oscar's Freshman Class" (1387). pp. 46–47.
  11. ^ Oppenheimer, Jean (December 2015). "Darkest Days". American Cinematographer. pp. 64–77.
  12. ^ Horn, John. "Filmmaker Patricia Riggen: 'It's harder to be a woman than Latina' in Hollywood". The Frame.

External linksEdit