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. The panel of judges included Jamie Lee Curtis, Gale Ann Hurd, Amy Heckerling, Susan Seidelman, Allison Janney, Andie Macdowell and Catherine Wyler.
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. Latest Film Projects include the webisode series with Amy Staats, 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)
Most recently Directing credits include the award winning script, Mary and Louise, (Best Short film screenplay LA Film Festival 2012, Brit Penrod Audience Award 2014), a black and white/colour film that pays tribute to Mary Pickford and Louise Brooks.
Also Icarus Stops For Breakfast (Jerome Grant Finalist 2013), by Holli Harms, a magical love story set in a landscape overwhelmed by nature, which is now in post Spring 2015.
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, the Actors Studio Director/Playwrights Unit, SDC, NYWIFT.
She is on the Faculty for the Graduate Film Program at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and is represented by Linda Weaver at Access Talent.
Name: Abigail Zealey Bess
Lives in: New York City, New York
Company: Weird Sisters
Occupation: Director, Producer, Theatre Director and Theatrical Producer