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James PelleritoAdjunct Instructor


Born and raised in Italy, James Pellerito is an award-winning fiction and documentary filmmaker whose work has screened at over 150 festivals worldwide, won over thirty awards and aired on HBO Latino, Sundance TV, Logo TV and PBS America. His feature documentaries include Pop Star On Ice (2009, IFC Center), American Cheerleader (2014, Fathom Events) and Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer (2018, Film Forum). He served as Co-Creator, Director and Executive Producer on two seasons of his series Be Good Johnny Weir (2010, 2012). His short film Maree [Tides] (2003) qualified for the 2005 Academy Awards and his most recent film Guadalupe (2021) is currently on the festival circuit.

James is the Co-Founder and Director of the New York City Short Film Festival (NYC Shorts) and a graduate of the 2-year Meisner acting program with Richard Pinter at The Neighborhood Playhouse. He has taught “Writing the Short Film” and “Intro to Digital Video” at Emory since 2020. Affiliations include the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) and the American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS).


  • MFA in Directing & Screenwriting, Columbia University
  • MA in Humanities, New York University
  • BA in Film Studies, Columbia University