Bettina Gilois (died July 5, 2020) was a screenwriter and author, known for her work on the HBO film Bessie, and Disney's Glory Road and McFarland, USA. Gilois won an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Writing of a Television Movie and a Black Reel Awards of 2016 nomination for Bessie. She also won two Image Award nominations for Bessie and McFarland, USA. Gilois was a Humanitas Prize nominee in 2006 and a Black Reel Awards of 2007 nominee for Glory Road.
Gilois was an associate professor in the Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.
3 Film and television
4 Selected publications
Gilois graduated from Columbia University with an art history degree. She was hired as director Slava Tsukerman's assistant in the Independent Science Fiction film, Liquid Sky. She later worked at Andy Warhol's Factory in New York on the television series "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes." Gilois began her screenwriting career working with Joel Silver and Warner Bros.
Gilois was co-screenwriter with Christopher Cleveland on the Disney film, Glory Road. (2006). The film was based on a true story about Texas Western's men's basketball coach Don Haskins, and his first all African-American starting lineup and their journey to the 1966 NCAA Championship.
Gilois co-wrote the screenplay for the HBO television movie, Bessie (2015) with director Dee Rees and Christopher Cleveland. The film, starting Queen Latifah, is the life story of blues singer Bessie Smith. Gilois and her co-writers won an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Writing of a Television Movie, a Black Reel Awards of 2016 nomination and two Image Award nominations for their work. She worked on the film, Disney's "McFarland USA" along with screenwriters Christopher Cleveland and Grant Thompson. The sports drama centers around a 1987 Central Valley, California high school cross-country team. The coach, played by Kevin Costner, along with multiple challenges, leads his Hispanic runners to a state championship. The film won the Cesar Chavez Award and the Truly Moving Pictures Award in 2015.
Gilois later worked on a series based on Rick Hall's autobiography: The Man From Muscle Shoals: My Journey from Shame to Fame and a 2020 television movie for Lifetime.
Gilois was co-author of the books Mi Vida Loca: The Crazy Life of Johnny Tapia and Billion Dollar Painter: The Triumph and Tragedy of Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light. She also wrote for the Huffington Post in the Arts and Culture section.
On July 5, 2020, Gilois died in her sleep from an advanced cancer.
Film and television
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