Columbia University - MFA Directing
Pennsylvania State University - BA Film and Video
Presidential Volunteer Award 2018 - Bronze
DGA Best Student Film Award - Asian American/East Coast
CINE Golden Eagle Award
James Bridges Development Award
Carmen Finesta Award
FirstGlance Film Fest Philadelphia - Breakout Performance Award: Krystal Yam
Alaska International Film Festival - Denali Award
Los Angeles Reel Film Festival - Honorable Mention
Smoke and Mirrors - Narrative Short
Silent Reminders - Narrative Short
Going Home - Narrative Short
Jei-Jei (Big Sister) - Narrative Short
Fallen Yellow Tears - Experimental Short
A Tribute to Bill Watanbe - Short
CRCD: Youth Workforce Development - Short
Depression: When Your Heart Catches a Cold - Short
Theresa Wu is an award-winning filmmaker whose films and writing explores the rich complexity of Asian American lives. Having grown up with immigrant parents who strived to obtain the elusive American Dream, Theresa portrays the dynamic culture with heart-wrenching storytelling, compelling characters and honest emotion. Her films hope to diversify the human experience through Asian Americans’ voices of struggle and strength.
Theresa completed her MFA in Directing at the Columbia University Graduate School of Film. Her thesis film, Smoke and Mirrors, went on to win the Director’s Guild of America’s Best Student Filmmaker Award (Asian-American/East Coast), the CINE Golden Eagle Award and a Silver at the CA Film Awards. Additionally, she has won the Denali Award at the 2011 Alaska International Film Awards and Honorable Mention at the 2011 LA Reel Film Festival. She has screened her numerous shorts at festivals including, but not limited to, the DC International Shorts Festival, the Philly First Glance Film Festival, The Austin Asian American Film Festival, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, and the New Filmmakers Series in NYC. She’s been awarded the James Bridges Development Award, the Filmmakers of Color United in Spirit Fellowship, the Digital Media Center Fellowship, the Columbia University Merit Fellowship and The Carmen Finestra Award for her scholastic achievements in filmmaking.
Most recently, she has directed and produced documentary works including: A Tribute to Bill Watanabe, CRCD: Youth Workforce Development Program, and Depression: When Your Heart Catches a Cold, in conjunction with the former DIY Productions (a non-profit organization that empowered, trained and employed at-risk students with paid film jobs) and The Little Tokyo Service Center of Los Angeles.
Theresa is currently writing feature scripts and resides in the Los Angeles region with her husband and her new son near the beautiful Pacific Ocean. She dreams of NYC pizza and bagels daily.
Theresa believes that her work is enriched by work with the community. As a Teaching Artist and a Mentor, she has inspired countless at-risk youth to understand the power and strength of their voices and stories through the art of digital media (photography, filmmaking, writing) across the New York and Los Angeles region.
Theresa has taught filmmaking and digital media arts classes for over eight years. She has worked with various groups of youth (homeless youth, emancipated foster youth, recent immigrants, continuing education students etc.) Her dedication to empowering youth to embrace the arts as a method of healing, expression and self-acceptance has inspired her success in the classroom.
Her work includes hands-on participation in both documentary and narrative formats, class trips to film studios and cultural museums, but also the ability to create, film and edit a film. She encourages her students to explore the power of their voices and perspectives.
Most recently, her work with the community has expanded to seniors in Photography, Filmmaking and Short Story Writing.
ADVISORY TEAM MEMBER
Theresa is proud to be an advisory team member for Photo Forward, an international arts program that empowers youth and women with Photography and Filmmaking.
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