Kleber Mendonça Filho began his career as a film critic and journalist, writing for newspapers and magazines, as well as for his own site, CinemaScópio.
As a director, he experimented with fiction, documentary, and video clips in the 1990s. He migrated from video to digital and 35 mm film in the 2000s. Over the course of that decade, he made several short films, including 2002's A Menina do Algodão (codirected by Daniel Bandeira), as well as a feature-length documentary, 2008's Crítico.
Neighboring Sounds (2013) was Mendonça's first feature-length drama, and it won numerous awards. A. O. Scott of the New York Times included it in his list of the ten best films of 2012.
Since then, Mendonça's films (including his latest, Bacurau) have received more than 120 awards in Brazil and abroad, with selections in festivals such as New York, Copenhagen, and Cannes. He has also served as a film programmer for the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation.