Actress | Writer | Director
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Stella Velon is an award-winning actress and filmmaker currently based in Los Angeles. Her directorial debut, the psychological drama THE CRITIC (which she also wrote and starred in as the female lead opposite Alan Smyth) was among the five winners of Amazon Studios' inaugural All Voices Film Festival (amazon.com/allvoices) for U.S. filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds. The festival judges included top executives at Amazon Studios and the founder and CEO of IMDb Col Needham. Most recently, Stella earned a 2020 Webby Award nomination for Best Individual Performance in a final selection of only five nominees alongside FKA Twigs and Emily Hampshire in the same category, among others. The finalists of the 2020 Webby Awards (dubbed the Webbys from Home) were selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) and singled out as one of the five best in the world in its category out of 13,00 entries from around the world. Focused on personal and visceral storytelling, Velon garnered stellar reviews for her work on the film as a performer, writer, and director. In addition, and since its launch at the 34th Boston Film Festival, 'The Critic' has amassed over 20 festival awards, including Best Breakout Performance at Festival Angaelica + Catalyst Content, the coveted Best Director prize at the 2018 UK Film Review Awards (in the company of Oscar-winning heavyweights such as Alfonso Cuarón's 'Roma' and Bradley Cooper's 'A Star Is Born'), Best Short Film at the 2019 Method Fest (celebrating outstanding performances in independent film), Best Actress & Annual Grand Jury Prize at the Queen Palm International Film Festival (alongside 2019 Emmy-winning documentary 'Crime + Punishment' in the feature category) and also became Indie Shorts Mag's Editor's Pick. UK Film Review’s Editor-in-Chief and lead film critic Chris Olson described Stella's portrayal of the main character of the Actress as "one of the best leading performances of the year so far", her dialogues “exceptional”, and the film “a particularly poignant piece of cinema in the current social climate”. Indie Shorts Mag wrote: “From her writing & direction to acting, she has done it with such finesse, that it’s a pity that we can’t rate her any higher.” The film even broke a record by becoming the first short to receive a full 5-star rating on the latter and was dubbed "a sublime piece of indie film magic" by One Film Fan, among many other accolades. As a performer, Velon has appeared in film and TV shows such as 'Baskets' (FX), 'Men in Black 3', 'Gossip Girl' (CW), etc., and has trained at some of the most prestigious drama schools in Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Paris X-Nanterre. As a creator/screenwriter, she is currently working on a GIRL-POWERED DRAMEDY SERIES, loosely inspired by her modeling years in New York City, among several other projects in various stages of advancement. The show is fully fleshed out and is in active development in collaboration with fashion super agent, and former president of JGK Inc., Jean Gabriel Kauss. Stella is perfectly bilingual (English/French) among others, and is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, the Alliance of Women Directors, and Alma Har’el’s curated talent discovery platform Free The Work. She grew up obsessively watching Baz Luhrmann's 'Strictly Ballroom', and 'Romeo + Juliet', and her latest work as a filmmaker has been influenced by the likes of Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky.