Talent Guide

Desha Dauchan

  • Discipline:Director, Writer
  • Program Year:Screenwriting Lab 2008


Desha Dauchan is a Howard University alumna and a graduate of UCLA Film School (MFA 2002, Directing) where she received the Jim Morrison Award for excellence in directing, the Verna Fields Women in Film Award, the Multicultural Motion Picture Association’s Diversity Award, and the Wasserman Grant. Dauchan’s short film Episodes earned her the Best Narrative Short at the Jamerican Film Festival and the UCLA Spotlight Award. It was also a finalist in the HBO Short Film Competition at the Acapulco Black Film Festival, and the Directors Guild of America Student Award (taking her to the American Pavilion at Cannes as a Kodak Emerging Filmmaker).

Her most recent short film Whispers, a thriller, has earned acclaim as a finalist in the HBO Short Film competition at the American Black Film Festival. It was honored with the UCLA Spotlight Award and student awards for Best Editing and Visual Design. After winning the IFP Gordon Parks Award for Directing, Whispers screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Dauchan shadowed on both the shoot and post-production of the film Caveman’s Valentine with her Film Independent Project:Involve mentor, Kasi Lemmons.

She recently completed a feature length screenplay based on Whispers. In the summer of 2007, Dauchan participated in the CBS Diversity Program for Television Directing, shadowing directors on such acclaimed shows as HBO’s The Wire. In the fall of 2007 Dauchan was hired to adapt the book Trying to Sleep In The Bed You Made for independent producer Tracey Kemble & 3 Colored Girls Productions. In 2008 Dauchan joined the faculty at CalArts.

Current Project

Kalfou (A Crossroads Tale) (Narrative Feature)


A desperate man trades his soul for the gift of extraordinary musical talent in this modern day retelling of the Robert Johnson crossroads myth.