TessaDirecting

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. And will soon be directing the critically-acclaimed iZombie for Warner Brothers.

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 and Best Short Film at the Nantucket Film Festival.

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.

She directed a critically acclaimed dance theater pieces Mother and Mother.Redux with choreographer Christine Suarez, which premiered last year at Highways Performance Space.

She has Tessa has directed plays and readings for Naked Angels Theater Company, The Atlantic Theater Company, Women in Film, and The Nantucket Film Festival. She is a proud alumna of the 24 Hour Plays and is on the Advisory Council of The Moth. She worked alongside Performance Studies demigod Richard Schechner and his company East Coast Artists. Tessa served as Chairman of the Board of the New York theater company Naked Angels.