Christel Miller is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. She has been featured in OutSmart magazine and Glamour magazineas one of the top queer women to look out for.
Born in 1984 and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Miller was somewhat sheltered from all of the glamour and trendiness of the film industry. Ironically, it was this industry that lured her back to LA after college at Rice University
. An aptitude for the sciences led Miller to attend the California Academy of Math and Science
, through California State University
, Domiguez Hills, specializing in mathematics and science, but despite her abilities in these subjects, she had an unrelenting passion for filmmaking. Recognizing that film is one of the most effective and influential forms of expression, she wanted to be a part of that industry.
As an African American lesbian, she strives to give a voice to minority communities. She grew up surrounded by negative, stereotyped, or "tokenized" portrayals of minorities. Although films like Maria Full of Grace and Kissing Jessica Stein have brought with them societal progress, Miller feels minorities of all kinds - ethnic, cultural, religious, or non-heterosexual minorities – are still being exoticized. Miller hopes to contribute to the increasing number of films available to the public, which accurately represent minorities in a positive light, and believes she can only make that happen as a producer, but soon she realized that allowing her passion to shine through her projects would become her first priority.
Miller majored in Visual Art, Psychology, and Women's Studies at Rice University. While studying there, she made multiple short films and interned at the Houston Film Commission to get her first insider's look into the industry. As an undergraduate student, she attended the Hollywood Film School's Seminar: How to Make Films from A-Z and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' seminar: Television's Challenges in Black, White, and Multicolor. After graduating from college, Miller moved back to Los Angeles to get her MFA in Producing at the UCLA Film School. While at UCLA, Miller interned at a variety of film companies, including MTV Films and HBO Films, and completed a short that premiered at Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. But it was during a summer internship at Showtime Networks that she realized her love for television. While at Showtime, Miller shadowed Original Programming Executives Gary Levine and Pearlena Igbokwe, tracked series development, visited sets, and sat in on all staff and development meetings. Her experience at Showtime inspired Miller to expand her focus to include both film and television. She is dedicated to working on character-driven stories in both independent film and television projects, and aspires to be a Network Television Development Executive. Currently she is working at Sony Pictures TV and will be attending Amsterdam Sexuality Study Conference in July 2007.
Christel Miller was featured in Glamour
magazine's top 10 college women in 2004. "I’m not a Barbie
doll girl. I am a light-skinned African American lesbian with short, dark hair. Let's just say I was shocked when they called to tell me I was a finalist," Miller stated about the feature. She was later featured in OutSmart
magazine's top 10 queer Houstonians to look out for where she was quoted saying: "I want to become a filmmaker. I’m really into doing films that speak to minority voices." As a role model, she names Jamie Babbit
, who directed the comedy But I’m a Cheerleader
("a film that helped me come out"). Miller met Babbit when the director visited Rice. "I enjoy her style of filmmaking and the political message behind it—plus the entertainment value."
- 2005 Miller, C., "The Gay Gaze: Both Eyes on the Gay Genre", Women's Studies Capstone Thesis, Rice University
- 2004 to 2005: Lynne Huffer, Ph.D., Women and Gender Studies Department, Rice University, "Gays & Lesbians in Peru"
- 2003 to 2005: Mikki Hebl, Ph.D., Psychology Department, Rice University, "Effectiveness of GLBT Diversity Training at Rice" & "Effectiveness of Film on Diversity Training at Rice"
- 2003 Miller, C. et al. "The Essential Dimensions of Traffic and Road Signs: An Evaluation of Sign Shape and Color." Rice University
- 2002 Hetrick, G., Miller, C. S., and Beckingham, K. "Role of the antennae in gravity sensing by Drosophila melanogaster." Gravitational and Space Biology Bulletin, 16 (2002):
- 2001-2003 Dr. Kate Beckingham, Molecular and Cell Biology Department, Rice University Research Topic: Role of the Antennae in Gravity Sensing Drosophila melanangaster
- 1998–2001 Wael A. Salameh, M.D., Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Research and Education Institute Research Topic: Localization and Confirmation of Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 beta in the Mouse Testes by Immunohistochemistry
Christel's film BUTCHLALEZ was featured in the following film festivals:
Her first notable film, Wandering Thoughts was in multiple GLBT Film festivals:
She also had the following three films featured in the UCLA film festival in 2006:
A young Cuban orphan struggles between escaping the hardships of his country by fleeing to the US or staying in Havana in order to learn more about the family he never knew.
- UNTITLED COMING OF AGE DRAMA (coming-of-age)
An underachieving college dropout who has always relied on his trust fund moves to L.A., aspiring to be an actor, and ends up reconciling with his estranged father who is, to his surprise -- black.
A man returns to small town California to reconcile with the guilt of a son he is accused of murdering.
Christel appears in Jamie Babbit
's Itty Bitty Titty Committee
released in 2007.
UCLA Film Festival 2006