Maris Lidaka was born in the small suburb of Oak Park into one of only two interracial families in his neighborhood. From Frank Lloyd Wright architecture to books to photography, he was surrounded by art and creativity at an early age. He became involved in drama and creative writing while still in elementary school and soon discovered his love of storytelling in all forms. 


At age 13, Maris attended an international high school in Copenhagen, Denmark and befriended people from all over the world. His worldview expanded as well as his ability to write, draw, and tell stories. His connection to his home country was maintained through cinema as he began to analyze how film could make an audience laugh, cry, be afraid, and connect. This fascination turned into a calling – he wanted to become a filmmaker. Upon graduation, Maris returned home to the United States and began his journey into the art of cinema. 


After graduating Columbia College Chicago, Maris immediately began working in the film industry. He’s mastered a variety of cinematic crafts including directing, editing, producing and cinematography while working on commercials, feature films, branded content and digital series.  His works have screened at several high-profile film festivals including the Cleveland International Film Festival, Paris Film Festival and PBS Shorts Showcase. He’s worked for several companies such as Fullscreen, Disney and Maker Studios and high end brands including Disney, Verizon, AT&T and HP.  He was recently nominated for a 2018 Streamy Award for his work on the Facebook Watch show Paper Tigers.


After two decades, Maris continues to create work at a high level. He works as a director, editor and producer in the digital space including as the Series Editor for Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix. His films and written content explore the conflict that occurs during the intersectionality of race and culture and how to better understand each other. He has taught aspiring filmmakers how to find their voice both privately and in academic settings such as Tokyo Tech University.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, their cat Joon and dog Sammie.