Richard Heredia-Arriaga


Los Angeles, California, United States

Richard Heredia-Arriaga is a writer, director and Sundance Co//ab community leader. Born and raised in Sacramento, CA, he currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and has a BA in Cinema from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Film & Television Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. His graduate thesis film, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, had its World Premiere at the 67th Festival de Cannes Short Film Corner and was nominated for Best Short Film, Best Director and Best Lead Actor at the 2014 New York City International Film Festival. The film garnered an award for Emerging Latino Filmmaker at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival, won Honorable Mention for Best Short Film at the Highland Park Independent Film Festival and screened at the 10th annual HollyShorts Film Festival. He has also worked as a Teaching Artist with Ghetto Film School and is currently in the process of developing his first feature film, BORDER LAWYER, which was selected for the second round of consideration for the 2021 Development Lab. As Sundance Co//ab continues to expand he hopes to grow as an artist and help others along the way.


The Criterion Channel

The Criterion Channel is a treasure trove of influential cinematic classics and what I love most are their segments: Observation of Film Art. Led by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, they examine various cinematic elements and techniques and decipher how these aspects are used in particular films.

The Visual Story

This is the most practical book I have encountered as a filmmaker. Bruce Block was my professor at USC and he illustrates how to create a clear view of the relationship between your story and the visual structure of your film. This is a must-have for any filmmaker. 


StudioBinder does an exceptional job in creating videos that help filmmakers of all experience levels learn the foundation and fundamentals of filmmaking.


This is a great way to see the transition of the script-to-screen process and it has been an essential resource that has guided my own writing.


Regarded as one of the greatest screenplays ever written, Robert Towne’s 1974 script is a must-read for all writers.

Searching for John Ford

In my personal opinion, John Ford is arguably the greatest American director of all-time and Joseph McBride’s 2001 book is the definitive biography on the legendary filmmaker.

The Bronze Screen: Chicana and Chicano Film Culture

I first read this book as a sophomore at San Francisco State University and was intrigued by Rosa Linda Fregoso’s examination into the history and representation of Chicano/a cinema.

In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing

Walter Murch takes the reader through the editing process and offers his perspective on the craft of storytelling.

I have used for 17 years and it is a great encyclopedia for any person interested in cinema.

AFI Movie Club

The American Film Institute has created the AFI Movie Club, a newly launched program that selects iconic movies for the world to watch together.