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People  •  Communication Studies  •  Associate Teaching Professor

Ellen Fontana

Ellen Fontana (Erwin) started out in the film industry in Los Angeles as an intern working for a documentarian filmmaker, then went on to work for ten different film and television literary agents at International Creative Management (ICM) in Los Angeles.

Subsequently, Ellen worked as a Development Assistant for director Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run, Scent of a Woman) followed by 8 years of working on various film and television projects at Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Studios (29th Street, Trapped in Paradise, The Last Shot).

While at Universal, Ellen also produced three Movies of the Week for Universal’s Action Pack Series entitled, Another Midnight Run, Midnight Runaround, and Midnight Run For Your Life.

As Senior V.P. of Development at both 7.23 and Prosperity Pictures, Ellen worked with many first time as well as seasoned writers and directors developing and producing twelve independent films which included a slate of films for Showtime.

Ellen co-wrote the six hour mini-series, “Cloudstreet,” with its award-winning Australian novelist Tim Winton. She won “Best Script Literary Prize” awarded by the Western Australian Premier and the mini-series was nominated for 12 AACTA awards, including “Best Screenplay for Television.”

Ellen is the co-author of “The Audrey Hepburn Treasures,” a scrapbook-style biography featuring carefully reproduced family and career memorabilia from Miss Hepburn’s life. Ellen also authored a photo essay book on the life and career of Miss Hepburn entitled, “Audrey 100,” replete with untold personal stories and unpublished private images. Ellen also served as Exhibit Curator for a series of international Audrey Hepburn exhibits featuring over 1,000 pieces of memorabilia, photographs, costumes, personal wardrobe and cherished household items from her Estate. She was also contributing author on “What The Bleep Do We Know!” and edited, “The Grandfather Paradox,” the first in a series of children’s books on quantum physics.

Ellen has an M.F.A. in Dramatic Arts from the University of California, Davis. She taught Screenwriting to undergrads and graduate students at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where she also developed an array of curriculum for both beginning and advanced screenwriting students. Ellen has also led weekend Screenwriting boot camps and has worked as an independent script consultant on numerous projects.

Since 2019, Ellen has continued to share her passion for Screenwriting, serving as an Associate Teaching Professor at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.


Communication Studies