Director BIO: C.J. Arellano (GRIFFICA)

C.J. is a media creator specializing in genre-driven and human interest content.

C.J. was named one of the Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch by the International Screenwriters’ Association. He has won grand prizes in the 43rd Asian-American International Film Festival’s Screenplay Competition, Chicago International Film Festival’s Pitch at Industry Days competition, the New York Screenplay Contest, and Columbia College Chicago’s Written Image contest in the Alumni Feature Screenplay category.

C.J. has directed video for big names such as The Second City, McDonald’s, Chef Boyardee, Motorola, and the Heaven’s Door whiskey brand co-created by Bob Dylan. C.J.’s directing work has been featured at the New York Television Film Festival, the London Short Series Festival, and the Chicago International Blow-Up Arthouse Film Festival. His directing work won Best Series/Pilot at the Deep Focus Film Festival.

C.J. edited video for the historic Biden for President campaign in the fall of 2020. Previously, he has edited content for Walgreens, GE, Hanes, Orbitz, Clorox, Nissan, and Secret Deodorant, with millions of views on branded social media channels and broadcast television. C.J. is currently editing ART & PEP, a feature documentary about the owners of Sidetrack, an iconic Chicago gay bar and wellspring of LGBT+ activism for over four decades.

C.J. co-created and directed LAVENDER SCARE, a horror anthology podcast featuring audio plays written and performed by LGBT+ artists. He also co-hosts BOTTLE EPISODES, a podcast that discusses TV episodes that take place in a single location. Both shows are available on podcatchers everywhere, including Apple and Spotify.

C.J. is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

Director Statement

Perfection can undo a perfect relationship. Please enjoy “Griffica.”

– C.J. Arellano

(“Griffica” was shot in Chicago in January 2021, following proper COVID-safe guidelines.)

By lgbttorontofilmfestival

Festival occurring twice a year. In Toronto in June. And in Los Angeles in September. Showcasing the best of LGBT Short Films and Screenplays from around the world.

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