photo: Jennifer Hatfield

Tessa Blake is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. She has directed narrative and documentary films, has a column at the Huffington Post, and writes for film & television with her husband and writing partner, Ian Williams.

As part of AFI’s prestigious Directing Workshop for Women, Tessa premiered Election Night, starring Peri Gilpin (Frasier) and comedian Jake Johanssen, at the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. She followed the success of Election Night with a new dramatic short, Upended, starring Amy Landecker from Amazon’s critically-acclaimed series, Transparent, which will premiere at film festivals in 2016.

Last summer, she directed Words With Girls, a a new media pilot created by Brittani Nichols, and produced by Issa Rae Productions.

Tessa’s debut feature documentary, Five Wives, Three Secretaries and Me, opened at the Quad Theater in New York and was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for its Outstanding Documentary series.

Her second documentary Project ALS won the Media that Matters Award at The Human Rights Watch Film Festival and Best Short Film at the Nantucket Film Festival.

Last year, Tessa and Ian made Leave Keys in Car, a short comedy in Hawaii, which won Best Comedy at the Lady Filmmaker Festival, Best of Fest in the Bahamas, and had its broadcast premiere on Shorts International.

With Emma Hewitt, Tessa documented the experience of women coming out of prison in South Central, LA. Susan, produced by Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia, aired nationally on Moyers & Company.

Chosen to participate in the ABC/DGA Creative Talent Development program, Tessa has directed theater in LA and New York, where she served as Chairman of the Board for Naked Angels.