Zealey Bess, is an award winning filmmaker and theatre director with a résumé that features work with the legendary Sidney Lumet, John Leguizamo, Kevin Smith, Matt LeBlanc, Frank Whaley, Bruce Beresford and many others. Her work has crossed boundaries and platforms for many years as an independent director and producer in film and theatre.
She has been directing theatre and film, specializing in new work since she arrived on these shores and established Weird Sisters, as a theatrical entity in 1997. Under the auspices of her company she has developed projects in collaboration with many writers both established and newly emerging on the New York scene.
She subsequently directed and produced her debut film, the award winning baseball trilogy: Play Ball! (Fanfare for A Common Man, Random Acts of Intimacy, Caught in Time) that screened throughout the globe including the Berlin Film Festival, Cannes Director Fortnight, and at over 40 USA festivals including New York, Newport, Seattle and Savannah.
In addition to garnering Best Film at seven USA festivals, she was awarded 1st Prize for Best Short Film by woman director at the LA Women In Film Competition.
A long-standing member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre; leading developmental theatre of new plays in the USA, she has directed, developed and produced numerous new works.
New York Theatre scene include Cort Theatre Broadway, The Public, Tribeca Film Festival, The Foundry Theatre, Ohio Theatre, Soho Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Here, and internationally the Edinburgh Festival, the Young Vic, the Strand Theatre, London. She is no stranger to the film and television set and has extensive knowledge and experience working in production in feature film, TV and commercials.
She continues to head Weird Sisters developing feature film projects and theatrical ventures and that promote and support prolific women artists and writers giving voice to new and exciting work. Film Projects include the webisode series entitled Here’s what I Like and Now I’ll tell you Why (LA Comedy Shorts 2010, 2011,Trimedia Film Festival 2011, Garden State Film Festival, Winter Film Awards, Brooklyn Girl Film Festival, Chashama Film Festival)
Recent Directing credits include the award winning script, Mary and Louise, (Best Short film screenplay LA Film Festival 2012, Brit Penrod Audience Award 2014, Roy W Dean Finalist 2014, WIF Finalist 2014), a black and white/colour film that pays tribute to Mary Pickford and Louise Brooks, Icarus Stops For Breakfast (Jerome Grant Finalist 2013), by Holli Harms, a magical love story set in a landscape overwhelmed by nature, in post Spring 2016.
Full Length Features in development include Walking Shadows, the story of two unlikely Vets finding friendship and rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of Vietnam, by Chris Ceraso,
7 Variations on the Same Lover, a live animation feature length script, by Crystal Skillman and Little Girls, Big Trouble, a high jinx comedy feature, by Leslie Brockett.
She is a member of Ensemble StudioTheatre, Actors Studio Director/Playwrights Unit, SDC, NYWIFT.
Acting Craft I, II Directing the Actor III
University of Greenwich, London