Rubén Mendoza was born in Colombia. He graduated with a degree in Film and Television Production from Colombia’s National University. In 2001, with a scholarship from the National University, he travelled to Montreal, Canada, to pursue additional studies at Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. Mendoza has written and directed 8 short films. In 2003, he won first prize in the District Cinemateca’s contest (Colombia’s most important prize in terms of prize money and tradition) with his script for the short film La Cerca. This short was chosen to participate in several festivals, including Cannes (Cinéfondation), Huesca, Toulouse, Beijing, Huelva and the Rio de Janeiro Short Film Festival. Between 2010 and 2014 he wrote and directed the shorts Grandma´s Eyes, La casa por la ventana (2010), El corazón de la mancha (2010) and Montañita (2014).
In 2014, Mendoza premiered the fiction feature films Tierra en la lengua and Memorias del calavero for which he received the awards for Best Film in the Fiction category and Best Director in the Colombian Film category at the 54th edition of the Cartagena Film Festival. In 2015 he released the documentary El valle sin sombras. This was followed by another documentary in 2017, Señorita María, la falda de la montaña, which made its global premiere as part of the Official Colombian Film Selection and the Official Documentary Selection at the 57th edition of the Cartagena Film Festival, where he was recognized as Best Director in the Colombian Film category. Mendoza’s sixth feature film (and his fourth in the fiction genre), Niña errante (Wandering Girl) won the Film Development Fund’s Comprehensive Incentive in 2015, in addition to being the first Latin American film to win the Golden Wolf award for Best Film and the award for Best Soundtrack during its global premiere at the Black Nights International Film Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. The film also won the Biznaga de Plata award for Best Supporting Actress at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival, and Best Fiction Film at the 7th Colombian Film Festival NY.