A versatile director, Olufunmilayo Gittens has worked in theater and multi-camera television in addition to film.
Olu has been honing her skills as a director since high school, when she graduated cum laude with distinctions that included theater, having excelled directing a one-act play for her senior project.
Olu studied modern culture and media at Brown University, eventually taking a film production course at the neighboring Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which solidified her desire to direct as a career. Committed to her field, Olu earned her MFA in film production from Boston University’s College of Communication, where she also received a GenCorp merit scholarship. During that time, Olu wrote, directed and produced Lucky, a dramatic 27-minute film she directed with professional actors.
Olu’s work on Lucky stood out for its sophisticated style and heartwarming touch, and garnered Olu awards in numerous film festivals across the country, including the New England Film and Video and the National Black Programming Consortium film festivals; the film was showcased at the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Directors Guild of America. Lucky was later acquired by Los Angeles-based distributor Lead Dog Entertainment, and was selected to appear in the Global Cinema TV film series hosted by Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, Hand that Rocks the Cradle) for cable’s Black Family Channel.
She directed the play Babygirl, which was funded in part by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and she recently directed the original web series Choices, produced and broadcast on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), the largest public access station in the country, as well as the Chance Anderson comedy-thriller stage play Trust No One, which enjoyed a successful run at the American Theatre of Actors in New York.
As a director, Olu fosters an environment where actors can connect and take risks; she has a special skill for nurturing actors to take their work to the next level. Olu is a member and former board member of Directors and Actors (DnA), a select group of directors inspired by the methodologies of Judith Weston who explore their craft through intensive workshops.
She is a member of NYWIFT, New York Women in Film and Television. Olu was a panelist for the Brooklyn Arts Council Re-grant program, and she has received citations from the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office and the City Council of New York for her contribution to the arts through film.
Olu has worked on the production teams of such nationally recognized TV shows as the animated PBS series Cyberchase(Thirteen/Nelvana) and syndicated lifestyle talk show The Better Show(Meredith), and Los Angeles television station LA18/KSCI, a leader in multicultural TV programming.
She is currently developing TV show Let's Talk Hair and feature film Baby of the Family.
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