MONICA LEE BELLAIS is an American writer, producer, and professor with a global reach. She is well known for bridging the entertainment industry with Washington, D.C. area subject matter specialists in government, military, and the private sectors.
She has extensive international production experience in Canada, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Monaco, Pakistan, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.
As a skilled crisis management communicator, she directs urgent situations methodically and ensures organizations deal with unexpected events to motivate and coordinate teams. Her extensive entertainment industry experience has afforded her many opportunities to successfully champion for diversity and inclusion within the entertainment industry.
Monica serves as a Council member of the Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE), a labor union representing thousands of members who write content for motion pictures, television, news, and digital media.
Monica is now in her sixth year as an Advisory Committee member for Women in Film & Video (WIFV) in Washington, D.C. She also served for four years as a Board member for WIFV. She has lobbied on Capitol Hill for the entertainment industry and women in the arts.
She has worked in development at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment; in the Office of Jeffrey Katzenberg at DreamWorks; Warner Bros. Records; Discovery Communications; Smithsonian Networks; Public Broadcasting Service; and TeleProductions International
Monica is experienced in development, financing, production, and post-production for many projects, including Buck Run (James Les Gros, Amy Hardgreaves), the comedy special Shawn Pelofsky: Stretch It Out, Bennie's (Pilot starring T.V. Icon Ed Asner, Oscar Nominee Cathy Moriarty); Wakefield (Jennifer Garner, Bryan Cranston). In 2016 she penned the film TRI shot in the Washington, D.C. area. At TeleProductions International she partnered with Egyptian actor Amr Waked in Cairo, on several projects. While at Discovery Channel, she worked on 100+ hours of programming, including Stuff Happens with host Bill Nye, Tac Tech for the Military Channel, and the Emmy® Award-winning series Discovery Atlas. During her time at Lightstorm Entertainment, Monica honed her development skills working for Academy® Award Winning producers Jon Landau and James Cameron. Before that, she worked in the Office of Jeffrey Katzenberg at DreamWorks, SKG. Monica started her career at Warner Bros. Records (WBR) and supported music industry legends - Russ Thyret (CEO), Phil Quartararo (President), and Bob Merlis (EVP, Worldwide Corporate Communications). She promoted through corporate media communication and marketing methods WBR's high-profile artists including Madonna, Cher, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Chris Isaak, Goo Goo Dolls, Flaming Lips, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Barenaked Ladies, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty & The Heart Breakers, Faith Hill, Foo Fighters, and many more.
Her experience in Washington, D.C., and the entertainment industry is a unique blend of navigating while merging two very different cultures. She liaisons with various government agencies to facilitate the necessary approvals for filmmakers, generate interest and enthusiasm for their projects, tax policy, incentives, and general policy matters of import to screenwriters and producers alike. She is also a professor of writing for media, screenwriting, producing, and film at George Mason University.
As an accomplished storyteller having written/produced film, television, and documentaries, she believes in service of the story, irrespective of the budget, the language, the culture, or the location. She believes for a story to resonate, the writer must be empowered. Under the WIFV banner, Monica founded Spotlight on Screenwriters, a publication that is sponsored by Washington, D.C.’s Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment, the Maryland Film Office, and the Virginia Film Office.
Her professional memberships include the Writers Guild of America, East, the Producers Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences - Documentary Programming Peer Group, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, New York Women In Film & Television, Women In Film & Video in Washington, D.C. and The National Press Club.
Monica holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from New Mexico State University.
★ Partnered with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the Entertainment Industry Council to create the White Paper "Recommendations for Depicting Suicide" in television, journalism, and digital media. It's a collaborative, concise, and well-vetted by top mental health experts (2019)
★ Volunteer for Veterans in Media & Entertainment (nonprofit) to assist United States veterans transitioning from military careers and unites to the entertainment industry (2018 - 2019)
★ Honorary Guest, along with internationally known Icelandic actress Edda Björgvinsdóttir, at the Northern Wave International Film Festival in Rif, Iceland (2017)
★ Former Advisory Board member for the Double Exposure: Investigative Film Festival and Symposium, in Washington, D.C., which highlights investigative journalism in documentaries and films (2016 - 2017)
★ Screenwriting Chair at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. The FeFF Tagline is “Always honest, not always pretty" and features an eclectic annual program of films, script readings, book signings, and industry initiative panels for independent female filmmakers (2014 - 2018)
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