Founder

Elijah Wells

Founder of EWYIFF and Elijah Wells Films

Elijah Wells is an actor, writer, promoter, trailblazer and film director who at an early age demonstrated interest and talent in music, dance and photography.  Born in 1997, Elijah’s gift surfaced quickly at age 10 when his father bought him his first camera. With camera in hand, Elijah followed his mother, A.K.A Sista Martha, to local community events to take photos and soon found himself taking acting classes with Kids on Camera.

In the summer of 2011, Elijah joined Panzou Project, Inc. & Miami World Cinema Center. In November, he was awarded “The Clint Eastwood Award” for best acting and directing. The award affirmed Elijah’s gift as a writer and film director and heightened his motivation to pursue his passion and talent. The same year, local film director Steve Drayton Sr. heard about Elijah and contacted him through his Mother to intern on his film “White Boys”.  Steve Drayton is the brother of William Jonathan Drayton, Jr, best known by his stage name Flavor Flav, an American rapper and television personality. Mr. Drayton was impressed with Elijah’s knowledge while working on the film set and called  on Elijah to again intern on a new mini TV series called “Miss Misunderstood” starring Jo Marie Payton, written and directed by Steven Drayton Sr., who recommended to Elijah’s parents that they put him behind the camera. They agreed and in 2012 Elijah began to write his first short film “The Gift”. When Elijah heard there was a call for entries for the American Black Film Festival “2012 Short Film Competition,” Elijah, then 14 years old, got busy finishing “The Gift”.  He had found his own true gift in directing and cinematography.  Elijah entered  the “2012 America Black Film Festival Community Showcase” and his short film “The Gift” was one of the winners.

2013 - Elijah showcased his film “Welcome to Miami” at the American Black Film Festival community showcase and won.

2014 - Elijah won Best of Show for the Art Basel Play To Win Foundation Through My Lens program.

2015 - White House Student Film Festival is the latest accomplishment the young film director has won and added to his reel with many more to come.

2017 - Elijah is writing his first book titled “Elijah Wells the Trailblazer.

Sign Up For Newsletter

Subscribe to receive updates regarding Elijah Wells Youth Indie Film Festival by email.