Diana Black works full-time as a spec writer of features, teleplays, and theatrical plays. She’s a professional actor in film, theater and the corporate sphere. Diana’s also written, directed, edited and produced her own short film, The Shoes.
One of her features, Going Alone, is optioned by Asian Entertainment Television.
In addition to her Bachelor of Creative Arts degree, she studies extensively write ScreenwritingU and has been mentored by award-winning Writer/Producer, Larry Brody.
Saving Keylan Millar is a one-hour drama/limited-series exploring of the dual themes of loyalty and living with the consequences of one’s own actions.
Originally from the U.K., Chris Gibbon first moved to Hawaiʻi in 2004 after graduating with a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield. Eventually settling on the North Shore of Oʻahu, however, he was inspired to begin writing creatively, learning the craft with a first novel. He immediately connected with the art and process of story, but having always had a deep love of film has since focused on screenwriting. Breakwater, his fifth full-length motion picture feature, is a romantic drama set against the raw beauty of Hawaiʻi. Chris is based out of Waialua.
Jessica Hayes is an emerging writer, actress, and exactly one half of the genius mind behind Bea’s Bakery. The character-driven fantasy-drama mini-series presents elements of a childhood fairy tale wrapped in a grounded, salt-of-the-earth, adult package. Jessica’s journey into writing began with a challenge from her brilliant acting professor/mentor. The challenge was to stop wondering why there aren’t more diverse roles for minority actresses and instead start writing the roles she wanted to play. Challenge accepted! A few years, city and country changes later, here she is.
Cheyenne Lawes is a filmmaker, actor, and dancer from Kāneʻohe, Hawaiʻi. Her creative expertise is in broad to dark comedies with a focus on incorporating strong female characters and diversity. She uses comedy to challenge the stereotypes of women, different ethnic groups, people with tattoos, and other underrepresented or misrepresented people in the entertainment industry. Her most recent screenplay, Focus Groupies, is a feature-length comedy that follows a group of seven friends from Hawaiʻi as they try to stop the demolition of the last park in their town.
Kuʻulei Shafee is an actor, screenwriter, and website content editor. While residing in Los Angeles for over twelve years, she honed her natural-born skill for writing and was inspired to co-create Bea’s Bakery, an original fantasy-drama limited series set in the 19th century. Kuʻulei recently completed a “commanding performance” at the Mānoa Valley Theatre, portraying Olivia in the production of Shipment Day. The experience of re-enacting a piece of Hawaiʻi’s history inspired her to return home to Hawaiʻi full-time with a commitment to tell stories of her homeland.
Alexandria Spell began her career in comedy, acting, and writing in her hometown of Reno, Nevada. While working as a nurse and raising two children, Alex began doing standup, first as a hobby and then as a paid local act. Alex moved to Hilo, Hawai’i, to pursue a degree in Physics, and found her outlet in a fulfilling creative partnership with Orit Tashman. Alex and Orit have written a half-hour television comedy called Hella Poor. The show hopes to buck the normal trends of television with a diverse cast and biting wit. Hella Poor offers irreverent honesty about poverty, women, and the dream of upward mobility.
Orit Tashman lives in Hilo and has a varied background in engineering, book publishing, baking, and theatre. Together with their creative partner, Alex Spell, they have co-written the pilot for a television comedy, Hella Poor, following the friendship and struggles of college students who are single mothers and deal with systemic poverty, racism, and the patriarchy. Orit and Alex have also created a production company and are currently building a portfolio of films and scripts. Orit believes that television is a major medium of influence and communication in this era, and is committed to producing comedic, thoughtful, and important content to help foster social change.