Carmen Elly Wilkerson
Director and writer
Carmen Elly Wilkerson is an Award Winning Filmmaker and Social Advocate with a unique background in film and science. Raised in a suburb outside Chicago, Carmen got her start working on Independent films.
Inspired by the power of film and television to reach the most people in the shortest amount of time, Carmen arrived in Los Angeles to attend The American Film Institute’s Directing Program, where she received her Master’s in Fine Arts. Her road to filmmaking was a circuitous one, as she had already earned a Bachelors in Chemistry and an Masters in Epidemiology, and worked in the inner city of Chicago combating Infant Mortality. Although rewarding, Carmen felt a stronger calling to serve in a capacity where her ‘pen’ was her weapon for change.
Carmen’s films have won numerous festivals around the world and been broadcast on television networks such as Showtime. As a Director, Carmen received a Hollywood Foreign Press Award, a Cine Eagle Award, and a Directors Guild Award. As a writer, Carmen was chosen as a Guy Hanks Marvin Miller Screenwriting Fellow, and twice chosen as a Finalists in the Sundance Writer’s Lab. Carmen worked at CBS TV as a Director Trainee on the hit shows, NCIS and CSI-NY. Carmen has directed Lex Scott Davis, Fred Savage, Robert Pine and in 2008 directed a Barack Obama Campaign Commercial. Kodak named Carmen One of 16 Film Makers to Watch.
In 2015, Carmen put on yet another hat and produced, The Reunion, a narrative short film inspired by her personal experience with sexual assault as a teen. Over 30 film festivals and multiple awards later, the film is distributed by Kanopy, an International streaming service, serving Universities, and Colleges around the world. Carmen now uses this film to lecture at schools and Mental Health/ Public Health Conferences. Carmen’s goal is that The Reunion will be made into a feature film where the message can spread to millions of young people.
Carmen just finished another short film, The Peck Situation, about a depressed wife finding healing in an African Drum Circle. That film was made possible by a sizeable grant from Films With A Purpose.
Currently Carmen is participating in the Women in Film Director Mentor Program, and is in negotiations to direct the documentary, Dehart Hubbard: An Invisible Hero – the true story of the first Black Man to win a Gold Medal at the 1924 Olympic Games.