Tessa Blake
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Tessa Blake is an award-winning writer and director, who was proud to helm her first episode of network television this year – NCIS: New Orleans. Chosen as one of eight filmmakers to participate in AFI’s prestigious Directing Workshop for Women, Tessa directed Election Night last summer, starring Peri Gilpin (Frasier) and comedian Jake Johannsen (Letterman), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the American Pavilion. Tessa recently wrapped production on Upended, a dramatic short starring Amy Landecker from Amazon’s critically-acclaimed Transparent. She also directed Words With Girls, a pilot created by Brittani Nichols produced by Issa Rae and Color Creative TV. Tessa’s debut feature documentary Five Wives, Three Secretaries and Me premiered at SXSW and was released theatrically, opening at the historic Quad Theater in New York. It was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for its Outstanding Documentary series and ran on Showtime. Leave Keys in Car, a short comedy Tessa made in Hawaii, won Best Comedy at the Lady Filmmaker Festival, an Award of Excellence at the Best Shorts Competition, and Best of Fest at the Bahamas International Film Festival. It just enjoyed its broadcast premiere on ShortsHD. Her non-fiction film exploring the ravages of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Project ALS won the Media that Matters Award at The Human Rights Watch Film Festival & Best Short Film at the Nantucket Film Festival.