Maya Albanese is an award-wining director and screenwriter who crafts visual narratives that empower women and spotlight unsung stories.
In 2018, she was awarded the Commercial Directors Diversity Program fellowship by the Directors Guild of America, and her commercial, "History" was named Best New Work of 2018 by Shoot Magazine. She received their Badge of Honor for "Rising Filmmaker" that same year.
Maya is a screenwriter of comedy-drama, dark comedy and magical realism. Her original screenplays have been semifinalists in Screencraft and Los Angeles Screenplay Awards. In 2019, she wrote and directed a dark comedy, FREEZE, which stars Chris Parnell, Adrian Grenier, Nora Zehetner, Kel Mitchell, Mindy Sterling, Rick Overton, and transgender performer & activist, Jazzmun Crayton. FREEZE won "Best Digital Short" and "Best Actress" for Nora Zehetner's performance at its premiere at SeriesFest 2020, which highlights creators on the forefront of episodic storytelling. Also in 2019, the Alliance of Women Directors selected Maya for a TV Shadowing fellowship, which led her to shadowing en episode of the Hulu show, Love, Victor at Paramount Studios.
Her commercials and branded entertainment have been featured in AdAge, AdWeek, AdLand, Shoot Mag, The Drum, Little Black Book, etc. for emotional storytelling and radically diverse casting and crew hiring. Maya hires 50 percent women, people of color, LGBTQ, and disabled cast and crew members on almost every shoot. She has directed films on four continents in English, Spanish, and French, and for clients including, but not limited to: Warner Brothers, Disney, Nike, Foot Locker, VISA, US Bank, Capital One, John Frieda, IBM, Ketel One, Capital One, Ally Financial, JCPenney, Chevrolet, BIC, and many more.
She has also directed, shot and edited documentary films including, "Bigger Than Us" (2020), "Cuba's Violin" (2014), and "Blind Date" (2015), all character-driven documentaries featuring underdogs, which premiered at festivals worldwide.
Maya has a Masters degree in Documentary Filmmaking from Columbia University in New York.