Hailing from Wichita, Kansas by the way of Quito, Ecuador, Emilia Mendieta Córdova is an Ecuadorian-American Cinematographer with a passion for visual storytelling. She has a B.A. from Vassar College in Film Studies and Chinese Studies and an MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory. 


Emilia currently is an active commercial, narrative, and documentary Cinematographer splitting her time between projects in California (Los Angeles, Sacramento, SF/Bay Area) and Quito, Ecuador. She has shot a number of short films including the award-winning Afro-futuristic sci-fi CODE_SWITCH, completed two feature films TO THE NEW GIRL (winner – best feature, first time filmmaker – Queen Palm Film Festival 2020) and HOTEL REFINEMENT. On the commercial side, she  has shot 5+ music videos including several award-winning collaborations with Charley Young, and produces, directs, and shoots promos, digital content, and a short-form food show for ABC10 (KXTV).


Emilia is also involved in academia as a Professor teaching cinematography and audiovisual production at the department of TV and Digital Media Production at USFQ (Universidad San Francisco de Quito), and has previously taught at UDLA (Universidad de las Américas). She also previously worked as the Cinematography Coordinator at the AFI Conservatory where she helped run the 35mm Visual Essay Program and the Cinematography Intensive for Women Program. She has taught workshops in Digital Cinematography Workflow and LUT Design as a guest lecturer at the University of New Orleans and the AFI Conservatory.


While Emilia works primarily as a Cinematographer, she also has also recently worked as a Director + Cinematographer in music videos, promos, and short films and is a member of the Ecuador-based El Viaje Films Collective. 


Emilia is multilingual (English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Swedish), a classically-trained cellist, amateur Astrophotographer, culinary arts enthusiast, and a massive Star Wars fan. 


Emilia is a member of the ICFC (International Collective of Female Cinematographers) and SPORAS Collective. You can also find her on Free The Work.