The Current WSC Squad
Evelyn Belasco is a native Californian who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Film Studies from UCSB. She worked as a script supervisor in features and commercials before finding her home in sitcoms. In 2019, Evelyn made the jump to directing on the Nickelodeon hit Henry Danger. Since then she has gone on to direct 20 episodes of television for Nickelodeon (Henry Danger, Danger Force, Side Hustle ) Paramount + ( The Fairly OddParents) and Disney (Raven’s Home).
With a decade of experience in sitcoms, Evelyn brings a deep understanding of the specific craft of the sitcom, and a sincere love for all things comedy. She lives in Woodland Hills with her husband Alan and 7 year old son Izzy.
SJ Chiro’s latest feature film, East of the Mountains, starring Tom Skerritt, Mira Sorvino, and Annie Gonzalez maintains 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Both the film and lead actor Tom Skerritt are nominated for Satellite Awards.
Her first feature, Lane 1974 premiered at SXSW 2017 and went on to win the FIPRESCI award for New American Cinema, as well as several other honors. The film stars Sophia Mitri Schloss and Katherine Moennig.
Chiro produced and directed several short films including Howard From Ohio which won a special award at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Chiro trained as an actor at Bennington College including study in London with professors from RADA.
Upon graduation Chiro moved to Seattle where she helped to develop Annex Theatre, eventually becoming Artistic Director. SJ Chiro is a member of the DGA.
Elvira Ibragimova is an LA-based director and writer, specializing in comedy. Elvira is a half Jewish, half Muslim refugee, hailing from sunny, Soviet-era Uzbekistan. After an initial career in architecture, she turned to filmmaking. She is a graduate of Second City’s Harold Ramis Film School. Her short films Dingus Wishes and Straight or Alive have placed in multiple film festivals and helped her secure the Viacom Viewfinder Directing Fellowship, a year long training program for episodic television. Her television credits include Danger Force on Nickelodeon and The Fairly OddParents on Paramount+.
Born and raised in Manila, Marie Jamora began her career directing music videos during the golden age of the Philippine rock scene. Her first feature, What Isn’t There, premiered internationally at Slamdance and led her to immigrate to America. Her film, Flip the Record, won the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Short at Urbanworld and she is an executive producer and director of Family Style (HBO Max). Marie is the first Filipina to be accepted into the WB TV Directors’ Workshop and AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, where she wrote and directed Harana, which won the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Narrative Short at the Sarasota Film Festival. After joining the DGA in 2021, she’s directed episodes for Queen Sugar (OWN), The Cleaning Lady (FOX), and Good Sam (CBS). Marie also founded Cinema Sala, a screening and workshop series that showcases Filipinx artists in film and the performing arts.
Jen McGowan is a director based in LA. Her recent feature, the survival thriller, RUST CREEK, was released in theaters by IFC Midnight, hailed as “the feminist thriller Hollywood needs” by Harper’s Bazaar and “certified fresh” at 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. McGowan’s first feature, the dramedy KELLY & CAL (Juliette Lewis & Cybill Shepherd) premiered at SXSW where she won the Gamechanger Award. It was released theatrically by IFC Films (71% on Rotten Tomatoes).
In television she directed episodes of STAR TREK:DISCOVERY, TWILIGHT ZONE and THE GAME for Paramount+. With her partner Eliza Lee she co-created & sold the series, Angelica, about the last remaining abortion clinic in a small Midwest town. Creator of Glass Elevator she also mentors other filmmakers through the AWD. She is attached to the sci-fi action CAPSULE with Hutch Parker (LOGAN, X-MEN) for 20th Century. Since 2017 she has trained as an amateur boxer with Golden Gloves champ Jill Morley.
Nijla Mu’min is a writer/filmmaker from the East Bay Area. Her work is informed by poetry, photography, fiction, and dance.
Her debut feature film Jinn, premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, where she won the Jury Recognition Award for Screenwriting. Jinn, a New York Times Critic’s pick, was released in November 2018 by Orion Classics, and is streaming on Amazon. In 2018, she directed an episode of “Queen Sugar.” She’s also written for the Apple series, “Swagger,” and the Starz show “Blindspotting”. In 2019, she joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and directed an episode of HBO’s “Insecure.” She also directed a short film for Netflix, entitled Black Prom. In 2021, she directed an episode of “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” for Hulu.
She is currently developing her second feature film Mosswood Park. She is a graduate of CalArts MFA Film Directing and Creative Writing Programs.
Tchaiko’s filmmaking is influenced by growing up as a Third Culture Kid. Magic, themes of in-between in the African Diaspora, its effects on the body and spirit, fill her work. Her creative impulses for fantasy are a connection to African Indigeneity and its healing potential. She centers ethical practices of care, process, intuition and deep listening to her body, dreams, and the magic of her baby.
Her debut feature film Solace, about a Black girl navigating an eating disorder is streaming on Showtime, Kweli TV, Apple TV and Amazon. The film features Hope Olaide Wilson, Chelsea Tavares, Lynn Whitfield, and Glynn Turman. It won Special Jury Mention at LA Film Festival and Audience Award at New Orleans Film Festival.
Tchaiko’s episodic work begun on Season 4 of Queen Sugar, followed by Cherish The Day Season 2. She directs commercials with Unicorns + Unicorns.
Jen Derwingson-Peacock is a Writer/Director working in TV. Recent credits include Black Summer, Z Nation and NCIS: New Orleans. The descendant of Chinese and German immigrants, Jen grew up in Northern California at the foot of Mt. Shasta, mythical home of Big Foot, aliens, the survivors of Atlantis and a panther who turns into Jesus Christ. Jen is also a student and teacher of Buddhist meditation. A fellow director calls her “A Buddhist who likes to blow shit up.” Jen earned a BA in English from Stanford and an MFA in Film Production from USC. She began her career as a theatre director working in Bali, London, and San Francisco. After moving to LA, she made several award winning short films before starting in TV. Jen is known for her inventive world building and for creating grounded, complex characters, sharp dialogue, moody suspense and visceral action and horror.
Dr. Rachel Raimist
Dr. Rachel Raimist is a formerly tenured college professor turned television director. She broke into TV when she was tapped by Ava DuVernay to direct QUEEN SUGAR for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She has recently directed episodes including QUEENS (ABC), THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS (HBO Max), THE BIG LEAP (Fox), WU-TANG: AN AMERICAN SAGA (Hulu), FANTASY ISLAND (Fox), DIARY OF A FUTURE PRESIDENT (Disney+) and 4400, THE REPUBLIC OF SARAH, NANCY DREW and ROSWELL NEW MEXICO for The CW. Raimist holds a B.A. and a M.F.A. in Directing from the UCLA School of Film and Television and a M.A. in Women’s Studies and a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota where The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center was named in her honor.
A native Angeleno, Charissa Sanjarernsuithikul is a director with an 18 year career in TV post production. Working alongside powerhouse Showrunners such as Greg Berlanti, Kevin Williamson, Shonda Rhimes and Aaron Sorkin, Charissa’s editing credits include The Following, The Newsroom and Doom Patrol.
In 2016, Charissa took a break from editing to enrich her craft by shadowing working television directors. Her debut short film, Playing It Straight was followed by LA Hustle and Post Sentence, which won the Best Women’s Short Award at the 2021 Cleveland International Film Festival. Her short films rendered her a finalist in the 2018-2020 Disney ABC Directing Program, a participant in the 2018 Sony Diverse Directors Program & 2019 Warner Bros Television Directors’ Workshop. Charissa’s episodic television directorial debut was the Season 2 Midseason Finale of God Friended Me and she recently directed an episode of Good Trouble, All American and The Rookie.
America Young is currently working in Film, TV, Animation and Video Games, as a Director and stunt coordinator.
Her first feature, “The Concessionaires Must Die!!,” executive produced by Stan Lee, is now available on VOD platforms. She directed the Vertical Slice for Resident Evil: Village that was recently released to record setting numbers. And is currently directing another AAA title game.
Her second feature, the magical surrealistic “Back to Lyla” will be released 2022. Since completion of the Warner Bros directing program in 2019, she has directed 9 episodes of Television including a pilot, Surfside Girls, for Apple TV.
When America’s not kicking the crap out of Super-Heroes that support the Superhuman Registration Act, jumping off buildings, teaching actors how to fight or setting herself on fire, she enjoys telling stories, sipping herbal tea and sharpening her pair of Sai.
The Inaugural WSC Squad
Jen grew up in Santa Barbara, spending her school years as a skate-loving drama-geek and her summers living with extended family in the woods without electricity (Little House in the Prairie style). She began traveling at a young age, went to University of Nairobi at 19, and credits her exciting upbringing with the wide range of stories she loves to tell. In episodic, Arnold has directed comedy and drama including THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, SHAMELESS, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, THE L-WORD: GENERATION Q, YOUNGER and many more. Her independent and documentary work has premiered at prestigious festivals worldwide, including four separate appearances at Sundance. Arnold’s documentary A SMALL ACT, won the Humanitas Prize and was nominated for the Best Documentary Emmy. Her other documentaries include THE DIPLOMAT and TIG, about comedian Tig Notaro. Arnold lives in Los Angeles with her wife, the esteemed cinematographer Patti Lee.
Morenike Joela Evans
Morenike is a Director, known for her calm leadership, clear vision and positive vibes on set. She’s passionate about directing stories for TV & Film that are compelling, provoking and have heart. She’s currently one of only six Black women actively working as a multi-cam director in scripted television and has recently directed episodes of the iCarly reboot, Family Reunion, Raven’s Home and Sydney to The Max. Also a single camera director, Morenike directed 3 episodes of the Paramount+ series Guilty Party starring Kate Beckinsale, two episodes of Apple TV’s Astro, and an episode of Diary Of A Future President. She transitioned to directing scripted television after an impressive career producing & directing unscripted programming for MTV News, BET, NBC, TNT, OWN, TV One and PBS. Originally from the DC area, she earned her Master’s in Film from American University and is a proud Prairie View A&M undergraduate. She’s married and raising two children in LA. If she wasn’t working as a director, she’d be Janet Jackson’s backup dancer, a detective, or an archeologist–in that order.
Sharon is a 3-time Emmy nominee and has directed over 125 episodes of unscripted television, including NBC’s “World of Dance”, NBC’s “A Little Late with Lilly Singh”, and Comedy Central’s “The High Court”. Her 2019 award-winning musical comedy “Brentwood” played dozens of festivals around the world and won Best Short Film at the Independent Filmmaker Showcase in Los Angeles. Sharon’s original sci-fi “Polybius” premiered at Fantastic Fest in 2019. Sharon began her career as a television editor, and was the Executive Producer of ABC’s long running Disney Christmas specials. She was part of NBC’s Alternative Directors Program, and was named one of the “Future Women of Television” by Blackmagic Collective in 2020.
Kimmy is a director, writer, and actress you may recognize from her on-screen roles as Stacey on Netflix’s critically acclaimed series “GLOW” or as Coach Crowley on Atypical. As a director, she will be making her feature debut, “Good on Paper” written by and starring Iliza Shlesinger for Netflix, premiering globally June 23rd. Credits include “Girls5Eva” (Peacock) “The Babysitters Club” (Netflix) “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (The CW) “Sesame Street” (HBOMax) and “Timeline,” an interactive series produced by Will Gluck’s Olive Bridge Entertainment. Gatewood’s breakthrough short “CONTROL” was a standout on the national festival circuit, winning eleven awards and garnering official selections from over 40 festivals including the Palm Springs International ShortsFest. Her short “Consent” won the JFL’s highest award, and her most recent short, “Navel Gazers,” won Outstanding Sci-fi at Micheaux Film Festival. Upcoming projects include scripts with her writing partner Alison Becker, including Girlworld produced by Red Hour at Amazon.
Annette began her directing career with THE FOOT SHOOTING PARTY starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Spielberg saw the film and offered her an episode of Amblin’s SEAQUEST and that led quickly to her first feature, FOXFIRE. Annette became known for her astute casting eye when she pulled Angelina Jolie from auditions for a minor role and offered her the lead. Her reputation for working with actors grew with each film as she discovered new talent and cast some of the most acclaimed—Sam Shepard, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julie Harris, Ron Silver. Annette is equally proud of the beauty of her films. Her original ambition to be a cinematographer shapes her vision and attracts talented cinematographers and production designers. Annette’s career includes screenwriting and script-doctoring. She is in development on a new film she wrote, a transgender family story, and is writing a screenplay set in Berlin that she is attached to direct.
Li was born in Suzhou, China and raised in Sugar Land, TX. She received her BA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, graduating cum laude. Her debut feature THERE IS A NEW WORLD SOMEWHERE won three Best Feature awards. A TOWN CALLED VICTORIA, a docuseries about an arson of a Texas mosque, has garnered support from the Sundance Institute, Firelight Media, Austin Film Society, Islamic Scholarship Fund, CAAM, ITVS, Reel South, and others. Currently, Li directs television and is developing episodic and feature projects. A maker of fiction and documentary films, her form-fluid work aims to create social impact and expand BIPOC representation.
Also known as Princess Monique Filmz, has come a long way from growing up in the inner city of Cleveland. From humble beginnings, she has used her life experiences to fuel her creativity and ignite her passion of storytelling embodied in her robust career. Princess Monique is an accomplished TV/film producer, director, writer, and author. She is also an alumni of the Walt Disney/ABC Directing Program: Class of 2020, which helped launch and cultivate her career as a television director. Adding to already remarkable credits, her transition into TV directing is a notable feat that came about when she directed OWN hit drama Greenleaf, and most current, Princess was tapped as a director for the award-winning ABC comedy series Black-ish which aired May 2021.
SJ is an award-winning Costa Rican-American filmmaker whose work as a dramatic episodic director is supported by industry talent labs including NBC’s Female Forward and Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative. She’s a graduate of UCLA’s School of TFT, the MFA Film Directing Program of Columbia University New York, and she holds a PhD from EGS Switzerland. Prior to working professionally as a director, SJ held a number of industry positions, including serving as Director of Development for Merchant Ivory Films and as a freelance Commercial Production Supervisor. SJ is repped by CAA and The Shuman Company.
Pratibha is an award winning T.V. and film director. Pratibha’s credits include her debut narrative feature, Nina’s Heavenly Delights, a rom com set in Scotland released in the UK & US. Pratibha’s film Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth, the definitive film on this Pulitzer Prize winning author The Color Purple was broadcast on American Masters (PBS) and BBC. Pratibha made her US debut as a director of scripted television in 2019 when invited by Ava DuVernay to guest direct episode 12 of Season 4 of Queen Sugar, executive produced by Ava DuVernay & Oprah Winfrey for OWN/Warner Brothers. She is currently completing her hybrid feature doc, My Name Is Andrea about the radical feminist writer Andrea Dworkin. The film features Amandla Stenberg, Ashley Judd, Andrea Riseborough, Soko and Christine Lahti. Pratibha is enthusiastically focused on directing more scripted episodic television. A member of the Directors Guild of America & Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Pratibha is represented by Nathan DeRemer at APA.
Mo is an award-winning film and television director. Her first feature, a relationship drama called Quiet Little Marriage, won several awards including the grand jury award at Slamdance and was distributed by IFC. Her second feature, a comedy called The Last Time You Had Fun, also won festival awards and was distributed by Gravitas. She’s now developing her third feature; a dramatic thriller called The Longest Road. Recently Mo directed an episode of the Sci-Fi drama Manifest for NBC and season 2 of the musical comedy I Ship It for the CW. Mo’s UCLA grad school thesis film, Piss Hat, was nominated for a Student Academy Award. She’s an alumnus of The Ryan Murphy Half Initiative, WeForShe, WB TV Directors Workshop and Sony Diverse Directors’ Program. Currently Mo’s developing several series for television including one inspired by the hippie commune she grew up on. She’s represented by CAA and Brillstein.