Stevan Rodjali

Motion Pictures & Television / MA

My love affair with filmmaking began at the age of seven, when the dinosaur freak in myself in me saw T-Rex come to life on my living room television in Jakarta, Indonesia. Joe Johnston’s Jurassic Park III dinosaurs were wreaking havoc, and I nearly did the same when I discovered there were two prior films, including the classic that launched the franchise. My eyes were glued to the TV, as day turned into night, watching the dinosaurs run amok.

My screenwriter origin story started a few years earlier. I drew my first comic strip when I was six, using my father’s used office papers, and colored pencils. A few years later, with a working knowledge of Microsoft Word stored in my brain, I started writing stories on my father's computer. Short stories to novels: – some of which I’m still rewriting!

My directing origin story is a fateful day somewhere in my seventh year, when I stole my mother’s cellphone to shoot home-movie videos that I wrote, often starring family and friends. It continued at a steady pace, as I rose through the ranks and became the technical director of a play in tenth grade, in charge of over fifty other crew members, including the lighting, sound, and backstage department.

I figured I would have a life in theater but a visit to Universal Studios in Los Angeles in 2013, and passing by the soundstages and sets on the studio tour, my curiosity piqued wondering what was behind the walls where they made the movies I fell in love with when I was a kid.

It became my mission to make it behind those walls one day, and be a part of the movie magic. I'm getting there, thanks to my BFA and MA in writing and directing at Academy of Art University. I was thrilled to have won the awards for Best Short Film Challenge and Best Director at the recent NXT UP Fest.

Not to brag, but I'm a kickass kickboxer. I won a regional kickboxing championship as an amateur in my early college days. Oh, and that dinosaur freak in me still lives, as my fascination with those extinct species has transferred to their living reptilian descendants, caused me to make a short doc about them and a quirky guy whose life is consumed by taking care of them.

NXTUPfest 2022 winner Short Film Challenge and Directing: Short Film Challenge
Jean & Will- Best Short Film Challenge (Winner)
Jean & Will- Best Directing: Short Film Challenge (Winner)

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