Gabriela Ortega is an award-winning writer/director and actor born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California, a 2021-2022 Sundance Institute "Art of Practice" multi-disciplinary fellow and is currently based in Los Angeles. 


Gabriela was selected as one of the ten writer/directors of the 2021 Rising Voices fellowship created in partnership by Lena Waithe's Hillman Grad productions and Indeed.  The companies  produced Gabriela's short film HUELLA which premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and is being turned into a feature film.

Gabriela is a Sundance Lab, Nalip Latino Media Market, HBO Tomorrow’s filmmakers today and and IAMA under30 lab alum. She was awarded Best Director of a live-action short at the 2021 LALIFF for her short film In Case I’m Next. The film was later acquired by BRON studios. 

As a solo-performer and theatre-maker, Gabriela has toured her one-woman show, Las Garcia, across sold-out venues in L.A., including the LATC, GoogleLA, The Bootleg Theatre, and the Hollywood Fringe. Her short plays have been commissioned and produced in Southern California by the Ensemble Studio Theatre, IAMA, In the Margin, The Skylight and the LATC's Encuentro. She is developing a new immersive solo show, 23NME, to premiere in 2022-2023.

As a screenwriter, she's been hired by Sony Pictures International to write a Spanish language script and was a staff writer for the second season Netflix's sketch show "Go Off with Jess and Julissa".


Most recently, she's been hired to write on the anticipated Bioshock 4 game produced by 2K.  She is also developing a half-hour dramedy series with Wilmer Valderrama's WV Entertainment.

As a director, her first full-length documentary MORENITA, won the 2020 FEST pitching forum in Portugal and is a finalist for the Sundance Institute 2021 Documentary grant. The film is supported by Women Make Movies in NYC and deals with themes of displacement, womanhood and modern-day immigration.


She is also developing a Dominican narrative feature, Piratas, under the 2020 Cinema Femme mentorship. The film won funds in Dominican Republic with the annual FONPROCINE contest, is a Sundance second-rounder and was part of the 2021 Latino Media Market. 

Gabriela's work seeks to deconstruct internal Neocolonialism through ancestral personal stories and alternative forms of documentation and lives within the intersection of fiction and poetry. She writes flawed people with larger-than-life ambitions, driven women with sour senses of humor and families living between opposing cultures. She aims to draw cultural bridges that lead to the Caribbean and tell stories that represent the people she grew up with, authentically. 

She is proud to say that Papi, the first short film she made (on her phone in the Dominican Republic)  about her overlanding travels with her father, has been acquired by and is set to premiere on HBO in 2022 after a successful festival run.

Awards & fellowships 

Sundance Art of Practice Fellowship - Fellow - 2021-2022

Tribeca/GUCCI Through Her Lens - Finalist - 2021

Hillman Grad/Indeed Rising Voices - Director - 2021


FONPROCINE Development Funds - Winner - 2021

Sundance Institute Documentary Fund - Finalist - 2021

NBC Nosotros Monologue Slam - Semi-finalist - 2020

WRITE LA Pilot Competition - Semi-finalist - 2020

HBO Tomorrows Filmmakers Today - Fellow - 2020​

Sundance Artist grant - Recipient - 2020

Cinema Femme Festival - Mentorship winner - 2020

IAMA under 30 lab - Playwright - 2020-2021

PEN writers of America - Young Writers Grant - 2020

Echo Young Playwrights - Playwright - 2020-2021


Sundance Institute Playwrights Intensive - Fellow 2019


HBO Tomorrow's Filmmakers Today - Fellow - 2019


Latinx Playwrights Common - Writers Nest 2018-2019


USC Stanley Musgrove Award - Recipient - 2017 


USC Eileen Stanley Award - Recipient - 2016


Hollywood Fringe Scholarship - Winner - 2016

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