Female Filmmaker Friday: Remembering Writer/Director Audrey Wells, Champion of Underrepresented Voices

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"Audrey was a voice of empowerment."

Audrey Wells was an American screenwriter, director, and producer. She was born in San Francisco in 1960. Wells went to the University of California, Berkley with an initial interest in radio, and even work as a DJ. Her interests soon switch to film, and she received her master’s in fine arts at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Her first big screenplay was The Truth About Cats and Dogs in 1996 with Uma Thurman. She was also one of the writers on the 1997 Brendan Frasier film, George of the Jungle.

Wells’ first writer/director credit came with the film Guinevere staring Sarah Polley as a young girl who becomes involved with an older male photographer. Wells’ next writer/director role came in 2003 with Under the Tuscan Sun staring Diane Lane and Sandra Oh. Wells has writing credits for the films The Kid (2000), Shall We Dance? (2004), The Game Plan (2007), and A Dog’s Purpose (2017).

On October 4, 2018, Audrey Wells passed away. She had been battling cancer for five years. The next day, her adaptation of The Hate You Give, premiered in theaters. It’s the story of a black teenager, Starr, who witnesses the wrongful shooting of her friend by a white police officer.

Wells was always a champion for underrepresented voices and looked for stories she felt were untold. She was especially a fierce supporter of women’s stories and took on projects that reflected that. Her voice will be strongly missed.

Her last script, an animated series, Over the Moon, is set to be released on Netflix next year.