Kelley Kali, a Los Angeles native, and Howard University Alum, received her MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. She began her film journey with an internship at National Geographic Television and Film, which sparked her interest in using the art of film to spotlight social issues within her local community and the world at large.
She has since produced and directed award-winning films in Belize, Haiti, China, and locally in the USA. Kelley was selected to work with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s New Form Digital, to develop her web series, The Discovery of Dit Dodson which has screened in competition at the Atlanta Film Festival, the American Black Film Festival and the Oscar-qualifying Pan African Film Festival among many others. Kelley’s most recent film, Lalo’s House, is inspired by 8 years of research and investigation of a woman who was allegedly posing as a nun and prostituting/selling children for financial gains at a Catholic orphanage in Haiti. Lalo’s House is executive produced by Garcelle Beauvais and Lisa L. Wilson and was filmed on location in Haiti and Los Angeles. It won the Programmers’ Award at the 2018 Oscar-qualifying Pan African Film Festival, the Best Short Film prize at the Bahamas International Film Festival, CineOdyssey Film Festival, Haiti International Film Festival, Black Harvest Film Festival, JCC Carthage Film Festival and the Best Director at the African World Film Festival.
Lalo’s House was featured at the American Black Film Festival in the Emerging Directors category, the Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival and an official selection of the Telluride Film Festival. Kelley has won a Student Academy Award at the 45th Student Academy Awards, the Directors Guild of America Student Filmmaker Award, and the Shadow and Act Rising Award. Kelley’s goal is to be known as a director and content creator who addresses issues within often marginalized communities by using the art of filmmaking to create dialogue and action towards positive change.
Lalo’s House is being shown at Diversity in Cannes this year.