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Cali (pronounced Kay-lee) Bondad

At once intimate, at once epic, at once quiet, at once exalted, at once observed, at once cinematic, at once personal, at once universal—Cali Bondad’s work has many forces at play. Cali starts with the people, the characters, and fills in the story backwards from there, layering her films with carefully considered compositions and weaves them carefully to tell the story. While character driven storytelling is the underlying force of her work, her photographer’s eye for epic landscapes is inescapable. Natural beauty, after all, is another larger than life character.

As long as Cali remembers, she had a desire to tell stories. At a young age, she equipped herself with an electric typewriter, her dad’s camcorder, and recruited her brothers as actors to make films. Her background in various art forms – from sewing, writing stories, piano, to photography – all inform her attention to detail and filmmaking approach.

Cali graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Film Production and eventually started working at a San Francisco advertising agency. From there, she cut her teeth as a commercial storyteller, taking various creative tasks before the creative director discovered her talent as an editor and tapped her to edit all the agency mood films. Her directing break came shortly after editing a mood film that a client loved so much that it led to her getting a chance to pitch (and win) on the next commercial. And she hasn’t looked back since.

Editing left an indelible impression on her work, allowing her to know on set, what coverage will help bring the story to life. This holistic approach allows her to assure the pacing for each scene is just right, so every piece serves the greater whole. In addition to appearing on TV or online, Cali’s branded content has been featured in Vimeo Staff Picks, National Geographic, The Atlantic, PBS, Slate, and Popular Science.