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Mary Lou Belli

Mary Lou Belli


Two time Emmy award-winning MARY LOU BELLI has been directing television for over 20 years including NCIS New Orleans, Station 19, Pitch, Monk, Famous In Love, Devious Maids, The Quad, American Woman, and Hart of Dixie as well as Wizards of Waverley Place, Sister, Sister, Girlfriends, and The Game. Her short film, Straight Eye for the Gay Guy won “Best Mini-short” at the California Independent Film Fest where she also premiered I Heard Something, a thriller that went on to play fests internationally. She has done ground-breaking, award winning work on web-series. Her most recent The Drink Lonely Wives Book Club is currently on the fest circuit as well as her provocative short, America, about racial profiling.

Mary Lou is the Co-chair of the Women’s Steering Committee at the DGA where she also serves on the Western Director’s Council, and the Leadership Council PAC. She is an Honorary Board member of the Alliance of Women Directors and a long time member of Women In Film.

She has served as judge and/or guest speaker for the CSU Media Arts Fest, Women In Film chapters in New Orleans and Atlanta, as well as the Cascadia International Women’s Film Fest. Mary Lou was a judge for the Miss America Outstanding Teen Pageant, a jury member at the Sapporo Short Festival, Newport Beach Film Fest, and The Voice awards, a lecturer at the Chautauqua Institute, and a panelist for Women In Film, the DGA, SAG, and AFTRA and the LA Times Festival of Books. She has been a guest artist at the International Thespian Festival for secondary school theatre where she gave workshops to thousands of teens and high school theatre teachers. Through her teaching, she supports many of the vibrant diversity programs including ABC/Disney, Sony, AFI’s directing workshop for Women, and Warner Bros. Directing Workshop mentoring the next generation of directors.

She is the co-author of three books: “The NEW Sitcom Career Book,” "Acting for Young Actors," and “Directors Tell the Story” which she co-wrote with fellow DGA member Bethany Rooney. She is currently at work on her 4th book, "PERFORM: Acting for the Screen" for Focal Press.
Mary Lou teaches directing part time at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
She just earned a CINDY award for Making LA Happen, A TV program about the outstanding women in leadership in Los Angeles.