About the Filmmaker
Chelsie Pennello is a Chinese-American independent ﬁlmmaker based in Washington, DC. As a writer/director, she enjoys exploring the humanity in darkly offbeat characters and is passionate about representing the AAPI community and women in complex ways. Her debut narrative short, Mandarins, world premiered at Oscar-qualifying Cinequest Film Festival and was accepted into over 16 festivals in 2023 including Cucalorus, Oak Cliff Film Festival, and the New Hampshire Film Festival, where it won Best Short Drama. While attending Syracuse University, her student ﬁlm, KILL GREEN, won the "One to Watch" Award at the 41st Asian American International Film Festival in 2018. Chelsie is a recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities 2023 Fellowship Award.