Hanelle M. Culpepper1

Female, #61125
Father*Terry Franklin Culpepper3
Mother*Joyce A. (?)2


Jeffrey P. Meier
Last Edited3 May 2017


  1. Hanelle M. Culpepper is an award-winning writer/director based in Los Angeles, where she operates her own production company, Hillview 798 Productions. Most recently, Hanelle directed an episode of Discovery Channel's scripted crime anthology series _Guilty or Innocent (2005)_ and was honored with the 2005 Emerging Filmmaker Award from the Cine Noir Film Festival. Additionally, her short film A Single Rose (2003) placed 12th for the 2005 Academy Awards, and screened at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival as part of the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG) Short Film Showcase.

    Hanelle has been a storyteller since a girl growing up in Alabama. Her filmmaking career began when she was selected for Bill and Camille Cosby's screenwriting program for African-American writers. Through the program, Hanelle wrote the screenplay Miss Ella, which was inspired by true events surrounding Hanelle's great grandmother Ella and her adopted sister Rose. This tale of two sisters whose intertwining lives lead to tragedy was a semi-finalist in the Chesterfield Screenplay competition and earned Hanelle a place in the IFP/west Screenwriters Lab.

    Next, Hanelle realized a dream by writing and directing the short film The Wedding Dress (2002). The romantic comedy about a carefree bachelor who finds a wedding dress in his girlfriend's closet premiered in 2002, kicking off an award-winning trek in film festivals worldwide. It is distributed by Urban Entertainment and appeared in African-American Filmmakers, a nationally syndicated special.

    In 2003, as part of the AFI's Directing Workshop For Women, Hanelle wrote and directed A Single Rose (2003), developed around the character of Rose from Miss Ella. Featuring four original blues songs, in addition to its subsequent success at Cannes and the Academy Awards, it has won several Best of awards, including Best Short, Director, Actress, Music, and Cinematography.

    Also in 2003, Hanelle completed the short film Six and the City (2003), a spoof of the popular comedy Sex And The City (1998), featuring six-year-old girls on the playground. Six won Best Short Film at the Ocean City Film Festival and an Audience Award at the Temecula Valley International Film Festival. An official selection of the Palm Springs International Festival of Shorts and the Canadian Worldwide Short Film Festival among other festivals, Six can be seen on network television in Japan and on Air Canada.

    Currently, Hanelle has completed her short documentary, How to Stand in Line for Star Wars. She is in post-production for the short film Leila, featuring Sinbad. She hopes to make her feature directorial debut in the fall.

    Hanelle graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Economics and French from Lake Forest College in suburban Chicago. For graduate studies, Hanelle enrolled in the Master's program at USC's Annenberg School for Communication. While at USC, she worked behind the scenes on multiple student film projects in every position from production assistant to producer.

    Following her graduation from USC, Hanelle worked for writer/director Neal Israel (Bachelor Party (1984)), writer/producer Kathy Kloves (USA Network's Weekly World News) and for the Sundance Institute. Prior to forming Hillview 798 Productions, Hanelle was hired by Academy Award winner Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise (1991)), who also became her mentor. Hanelle was fortunate enough to work with Khouri on her directorial debut, Warner Bros.' Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002).

    Source: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0191697/bio (Retrieved 7 Feb 2010).
  2. MyFamily.com Inc., compiler, US Public Records Index, Online database at Ancestry.com, 2005.
  3. The ancestry of this person is unknown. If you can help in identification of the parents or other relatives, please contact Warren Culpepper, using the link at the bottom of this page.