Faculty Profile for Mr. Kenya Jeremiah Gillespie

profile photo for Mr. Kenya Jeremiah Gillespie
Mr. Kenya Jeremiah Gillespie
Lecturer — Department of Theatre & Dance
THEA 101
phone: (512) 245-2147

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Kenya Gillespie is a Japanese American filmmaker and composer based in Austin, Texas. His narrative short film JEREMIAH received its international premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival (Cinéfondation) where it was nominated for the short film Queer Palm. It won Best Score at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival and was nominated for the Jury Prize for Best American Short Film at the Champs Élysées Film Festival. He is a 2021 Sundance Institute Uprise Grant finalist for his most recent narrative short GIVE, and he is a four-time recipient of an Austin Film Society Grant for GIVE, JEREMIAH, and his narrative short MICHELLE. His films have screened at numerous festivals around the world.

Kenya received an MFA in Film & Media Production from the University of Texas at Austin. He also received an MM in music composition from Rice University and a BA in music from Yale University.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Cinematographer and Editor, sisila ila ila: saying goodbye. November 11, 2023 - December 15, 2023.
    • November 12, 2023 Asia Society Texas, Houston, TX.
    • (Curated) Reviewed by: Natalie De La Garza.
  • Writer, Director, Producer, Composer, Editor, Give. September 2019 - April 2023.
    • deadCenter Film Festival. June 2023 Oklahoma City, OK.
    • aGLIFF/Prism Film Festival. August 2023 Austin, TX.
    • Catalina Film Festival. September 2023 Avalon, CA.
    • El Paso Film Festival. September 2023 El Paso, TX.
    • Tallgrass Film Festival. October 2023 Wichita, KS.
    • Tacoma Film Festival. October 2023 Tacoma, WA.
    • Festival Internacional de Cine de Quito. October 2023 Quito, Ecuador.
    • Aesthetica Short Film Festival. November 2023 York, UK.
  • Assistant Camera, Clarence and Ginni Thomas: Politics, Power and the Supreme Court. March 10, 2023.
    • Frontline Documentary. May 2023 - Present PBS, Online.
  • Give. 2022.
  • Writer, Director, Editor, Composer, Michelle. August 2018 - May 2019.
    • Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. 2020
    • Austin Film Festival. 2020
    • HollyShorts Film Festival. 2020
    • CAAMFest. 2021
    • Oak Cliff Film Festival. 2021
    • Montclair Film Festival. 2020
    • Aesthetica Short Film Festival. 2020
    • Asian American International Film Festival. 2021
    • Tallgrass Film Festival. 2020
    • San Diego Asian Film Festival. 2020
    • Boston Asian American Film Festival. 2020
    • El Paso Film Festival. 2020

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Austin Film Society Grant for GIVE, Austin Film Society. December 2022
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Best Score for JEREMIAH, Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. October 2019
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival (Cinéfondation). May 2019
  • Award / Honor Nominee: Queer Palm, Cannes Film Festival. May 2019
  • Award / Honor Nominee: Best Film Poster Design, Aesthetica Short Film Festival. November 8, 2023 - November 12, 2023

Selected Service Activities

Reviewer / Referee
Austin Film Society Short Film Grant
September 2023-October 2023