Mary Lou Belli


Two time Emmy award-winning MARY LOU BELLI has been directing television for over 30 years including NCIS New Orleans, Black Lightning, Bull, Legacies, Station 19, Sweet Magnolias, Pitch, Monk, Famous In Love, Devious Maids, The Quad, American Woman, and Hart of Dixie as well as Disney’s The Secret of Sulphur Springs, Ms. Pat,  Wizards of Waverly Place, Sister, Sister, Girlfriends, and The Game. Her short film, Straight Eye for the Gay Guy won “Best Mini-short” at the California Independent Film Fest where she also premiered I Heard Something, a thriller that went on to play fests internationally. She has done ground-breaking work on web-series. Her award-winning short, America, played its 14th fest on its 4 continent at The Hague and won best short.

Mary Lou served two terms as the Co-chair of the Women’s Steering Committee at the DGA where she also has served on the Western Director’s Council, presently she is on Leadership Council PAC and as an alternate to the National Board. She is an Honorary Board member of the Alliance of Women Directors and Advisory Board member of Women in Media and a long time member of Women In Film as well as  the Peer Group Executive Committee of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.   

She has served as judge and/or guest speaker for the CSU Media Arts Fest, a judge for the Miss America Outstanding Teen Pageant, a jury member at the Sapporo Short Festival, Newport Beach Film Fest, Regina International Film Festival, and The Voice awards, a lecturer at the Chautauqua Institute, and a panelist for Women In Film, the DGA, SAG, and AFTRA and the LA Times Festival of Books. She has been a guest artist at the International Thespian Festival for secondary school theatre where she gave workshops to thousands of teens and high school theatre teachers. Through her teaching, she supports many of the vibrant diversity programs including ABC/Disney, CBS, Sony, HBO Access, AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, and Warner Bros. Directing Workshop mentoring the next generation of directors.

She is the co-author of four books: “The NEW Sitcom Career Book,” "Acting for Young Actors," and  “Directors Tell the Story” which she co-wrote with fellow DGA member Bethany Rooney. Her 4th book, "Acting for the Screen" was published by Focal Press summer 2019.


2 time Los Angeles Local Emmy Award Winner. NCIS: New Orleans; Sweet Magnolias, Secrets of Sulphur Springs, Sacrifice, Station 19; Pitch; Ms. Pat, Famous In Love; Devious Maids, The Quad; American Woman; Monk; The Game; 2nd Generation Wayans; Reed Between the Lines; Girlfriends; Wizards of Waverly Place; One on One; Eve; Abby; Hughley's; Sister Sister; One World; USA High; Major Dad; Living with Fran; Misconceptions. Webseries: 3 Way, Jenifer and Shangela, Drunk Lonely Wives Book Club. Shorts: America (Best Short Prague International Film Fest), I Heard Something, Straight Eye for the Gay Guy (Best Mini Short CA Indie Film Festival)

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