Kristina Dalio

Born in communist Bulgaria, Kristina Nikolova Dalio grew up in a family of cinematographers. At 18, Kristina left home to study economics at the University of Chicago but ended up getting a BA in film theory instead, shooting her first feature film at age 20. After school, Kristina went back to Bulgaria where she shot three feature films including an award-winning documentary for well-known Bulgarian director Zornitsa Sophia, the production of which included living in a drug recovery commune in the mountains for months. In the fall of 2007 she came back to the U.S. and enrolled in the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film program where she directed five and shot 14 award-winning shorts (The Visitors showed at Sundance 2010). Kristina’s first directorial feature Faith, Love and Whiskey premiered at Slamdance 2012, went on to win many awards including the Main Jury Prize at the Dallas International Film Festival and Best Debut Feature at the 21st Annual St. Louis International Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Debut Feature by the Bulgarian Film Academy. After graduation, she shot and produced her husband and collaborator Paul Dalio’s first directorial feature Touched with Fire (starring Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby), which premiered at SXSW 2015 and was acquired by Roadside Attractions for theatrical distribution. Kristina and Paul live and work in New York with their two children. She is working on her second directorial feature, Amphibia, which is a love story set in a climate-changed world.

Describe the Impact of a Project you’re focused on.

My project looks to impact the climate change discussion and space, showing the hopeful sides of a primarily very devastating situation with the intention of inviting younger generations especially to take action rather than just live in fear. I want to engage with organizations and notable people interested in the subject so we can figure out how to best use narrative film to close a loop that documentaries have not been able to.

What results do you hope for when the impact is amplified?

I hope for a sense of hope and resiliency to start to permeate the climate change conversation, which will in turn engage more people who may have otherwise been turned off by the doomsday speak and divisiveness. I also hope to prove that narrative film can have incredibly strong impacts when used well, and to pave that path for others who may want to use them in the same way.

What do you have to offer as a connector? What can you give as expertise to others?

I have extensive experience in the world of producing films as well as shooting them and can certainly lend expertise there. I also have a depth of knowledge about climate change from the research for my film, and about how to be an effective philanthropist in a person's area of interest.
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