Elias G. Mael
Growing up, Elias lived in one of the most financially and politically disadvantaged sections of Oakland where he witnessed stunning poverty and violence. Instead of becoming a victim of his surroundings like many of my childhood friends, he refused to let the horrid events that he experienced consume him. Instead, he vented about them in his journal where he started to notice his storytelling abilities. Since that time, he used the difficulties of his upbringing as an inspiration for most of his early narratives. With the help of teachers and mentors that recognized his potential, he was accepted to UCLA in fall of 2005.

While at UCLA, Elias wrote in all forms, including screenplay, short story, poetry, and novel format. He got involved in film production and began to passionately study filmmaking. After getting accepted to the prestigious UCLA Theater, Film & TV School, he focused on directing and screenwriting and continued to hone his storytelling skills. While in the program, he directed four short films that gained notice among the faculty, in particular his thesis film, "They Came Sprayin’." As a senior, Elias was recognized by the Edie Gross Manet foundation for professional promise and excellence in the field of film production; By Frank Glicksman for artistic merit in film directing; And by Four sisters for best screenplay and directing. He’s also the recipient of the 2009 Motion Picture Association of America Award.

Aside from excelling in film production, Elias also wrote numerous feature screenplays, including "Oaktown," a story inspired by his childhood, which finished 2nd place in the prestigious 2009 Samuel Goldwyn writing competition. The script is now in development and is slated for a major theatrical release. Elias is currently attached to direct the picture.