Director, scriptwriter and producer. One of the boldest and most prominent voices of the new Mexican cinema. Escalante was born in Barcelona in 1979, and grew up in Guanajuanto, Mexico. He went back to Barcelona to study film, editing and sound at the Center for Cinematographic Studies of Catalonia, and then continued studying at the International School of Film and Television in Havana, Cuba. His first short film Ammarados, in 2003, won an award at the Berlin Festival that year. In 2005, he joined Mexican director Carlos Reygadas (guest of Cinema South Festival 2009), working with him on his film Battle in Heaven. The two went on to work together when Reygadas co-produced Escalante’s first film Sangre, screened at the Certain Look section of the 2005 Cannes Festival. In 2008, he wrote, produced and directed Los Bastardos, a powerful description of the tragic conditions and fate of illegal Mexican workers in the USA.

In 2010, he cooperated on the REVOLUCION cinema project. This project included ten short films created by ten Mexican directors (Reygadas among them), honoring 100 years of the Mexican revolution. His own film La Cura Nicolas Colgado described 100 years of Mexican experience, through the journey of two children and a priest, from the desert-village space – to the industrialized-urban, with its troubling and forceful American presence; and from faith, from living close to the earth and animals – to the industrialized urban scene, alienated and based on money and exploitation. His next films were Heli in 2013, for which he was awarded best director at the 2013 Cannes Festival, and The Untamed in 2016, screened at the official competition of the Venice Festival, this too winning the best director award. In these films Escalante continued to develop and deepen his unique, charismatic and ever-changing cinematic language. He deals with Mexican family life, society and culture that crumble under internal and external forces, threatening the ever fragile ties between man and woman, parents and children, workers and their bosses, Mexico and the USA. He renders all of these with a master’s hand, portraying the structural duality of the relationship between a caress and a blow.