Elias Mael

Elias' love for storytelling developed while growing up in Oakland, CA and honed at the prestigious UCLA school of Theater, Film, and Television, where he concentrated in directing and screenwriting. While in the program, he won numerous accolades: The Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, Frank Glicksman Award for Artistic Merit in Film Directing, The Gross Manet Foundation Award for Professional Promise and Excellence in the field of Film Production, and the Motion Picture Association of America Award, among many others. He was also a Sundance screenwriters lab semifinalist. Several of his scripts received high marks on The Black List, including placing in the top 5%. 

After film school, at the age of 22, Elias wrote, directed, produced, and edited the award-winning and internationally acclaimed feature film Against the Grain, which went on to screen all over the world. The film premiered at the 2012 Hollywood Black Film Festival and won the Audience Choice Award and Jury Award. At the 2013 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, it won the Audience Favorite Narrative Award. At the Gasparilla International Film Festival, Elias picked up the Special Grand Jury Award for Filmmaking. At the 2013 San Francisco Black Film Festival, the film won the highest honor: The Ave' Montague Award. At the 2013 White Sands International Film Festival, it won Audience Choice Runner Up and won Best Narrative Feature at the 2013 Rome International Film Festival. 

Internationally, Against the Grain was one of three films nominated for Best Diaspora Feature at the Africa Movie Academy Awards and screened in Cannes, France and Montreal, Canada before being picked up for worldwide distribution. The movie is now streaming on Amazon Video. 

Currently, Elias is in development on his next feature film and writing and pitching spec feature scripts and various TV projects to studios and production companies.


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