Originally from Dundas, Ontario, Cividino frequently spent childhood summers in the Sibley Peninsula region near Thunder Bay.
After studying film at Ryerson University, Cividino made several short films, including Norbert, We Ate the Children Last and Yellow Fish. His short films screened at various film festivals. In 2006, he won the Ontario Film Review Board’s student film competition.
In 2011, Telefilm included him on its annual 'Talent to Watch' panel, and his short We Ate the Children Last made TIFF’s Top 10 Shorts list.
When all of the funding fell through for his feature debut, Sleeping Giant, Cividino proceeded with a pared down short film version which was released in 2014, going on to win an award at the Locarno International Film Festival in addition to receiving a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Drama at the 3rd Canadian Screen Awards, in turn enabling Cividino to secure new funding.
The feature version of Sleeping Giant premiered at Cannes in 2015. It later screened at the Munich Film Festival, where it won the CineVision Award for Best Film By An Emerging Director, and at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Canadian First Feature Film. At the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival, Sleeping Giant won the juried Best Canadian Film Award.
At the 4th Canadian Screen Awards in 2016, Cividino was a nominee for Best Director for Sleeping Giant, which also garnered three other nominations including Best Picture, though it did not win. Cividino lost the Best Director award to Lenny Abrahamson for Room.
In 2016, TIFF announced they had selected Cividino as their annual Len Blum resident, where he will develop his short film We Ate the Children Last into a feature film.
Cividino has listed numerous films and filmmakers as influences for Sleeping Giant, including Peter Weir's Picnic At Hanging Rock, Mike Nichols' The Graduate and Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank.