Jess dela Merced is a Filipino-American writer/director from San Francisco. She is currently a director in the Disney ABC directing program. Last year, she was named as one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film and a NYFF Artist Academy fellow.
She holds an MFA from the NYU Grad Film Program where she received the 2012 Spike Lee Fellowship as well as the Lorraine Hansberry Arts, Performance, and Media Award. In 2011, she was selected for a unique writing internship created by Chris Rock at Comedy Central. Her award winning thesis film “HYPEBEASTS,” written under the mentorship of Spike Lee and aired on PBS. From 2014-2015 Jess was a San Francisco Film Society FilmHouse screenwriting resident and one of IFP's Emerging Storytellers. Her latest short film,"Wait 'til the Wolves Make Nice," which acts as a prelude to her first feature in development “CHICKENSHIT,” premiered at SXSW and won the Grand Jury Prize in Detroit's Cinetopia International Film Festival. The feature script “CHICKENSHIT” is a winner of NYU's 2016 Purple List and a San Francisco Film Society grant recipient.