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.