About the Directors

Brandon Wilson (story/producer/director) grew up in the Crenshaw District, attended Dorsey High School, took both his B.A. (in African-American Studies) and an M.F.A. (in Film Directing/Production) at UCLA.

While in film school, Wilson studied with Oscar nominated director Jerzy Antczak and filmmaker Gyula Gazdag. As a student journalist for the Daily Bruin, he supplemented his formal education by interviewing directors like Bernardo Bertolucci, Mike Leigh, Alan Parker, Clare Peploe, the Wachowski Brothers, novelist James Ellroy, and countless actors, including Judy Davis, Madonna, Kenneth Branagh, Helena Bonham Carter, Jeff Bridges, and Lili Taylor. His work for the Bruin earned him two awards for Best Film Review from the California Association of Student Journalists.

His short films have aired on PBS, KJLA, and have been shown in festivals such as the Hollywood Black Film Festival, the Long Island Film Expo, and the Toronto DV Festival, the IFP/West Cinema Lounge, as well as many local showcases.

In addition to the short films, Wilson has authored numerous feature-length screenplays and co-written two others, The Plunderers and The Bluest Blood (with novelist Gary Phillips and filmmaker Vivien Lesnik Weisman respectively). In 2003, his screenplay The CON was a finalist in the Script PIMP Screenplay Competition and a quarterfinalist in the Scriptapalooza Screenplay Competition.

The Man who Couldn’t… was Wilson’s first feature as screenwriter, executive producer, director and editor. Shot on 24p digital video in and around Los Angeles, the movie had its world premiere at the 2005 Pan African Film Festival, followed by a screening at the Independent Black Film Festival in Atlanta. The Man Who Couldn’t… had its Oklahoma premiere at the Bare Bones Independent Film Festival where Wilson received his first award for filmmaking, the Oscar Micheaux Spirit Award. The movie had its east coast premiere in Boston at the 30th Annual New England Film and Video Festival.

Jena English (story/producer/director) is a native of Los Angeles, CA. Her love of film began in middle school, when she took her first class in film criticism at Crossroads School in Santa Monica. Jena attended Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. As a Studio Art major, she continued to take film classes seeking out cross registration and summer opportunities whenever available.

She interned in New Line Cinema’s marketing and photography departments and continued to work for them through the summer on a paid basis. She also worked as a still photographer on Tim Story’s first feature film and as a production assistant on several other films including Miguel Arteta’s Star Maps. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, Jena returned to Los Angeles to live. She landed a job as an assistant art director for an advertising agency and adopted graphic design as her day job for the next several years until meeting her husband, an aspiring writer/director. The two produced an independent feature film in 2004 called The Man Who Couldn’t…, which went to several festivals around the U.S. and won an award from the Bare Bones Film Festival.

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