About Gayla

Gayla Kraetsch Hartsough, Ph.D., Screenwriter/ Producer, has written award-winning feature screenplays, written/produced three short films, and co-written a TV pilot. Three of her feature film scripts are optioned and one is in pre-production. Her work uses story and compelling characters to grapple with challenges facing our society today.
       Gayla's first short, A PIG'€™S EAR, is set in Appalachia in 1970 and deals with racial relations. It has been accepted at 15 festivals, including the LA Short Fest and Cannes Short Film Corner.
       Her second short, SLAP, stars Clancy Brown and Mel Rodriguez. SLAP had its world premiere at Palm Springs International Short Film Festival (1 of 320 selected out of 3,200 submissions) (2009). Since then, SLAP has screened at more than 40 festivals, including LA Shorts Fest, New Orleans, Sedona, Houston, Newport Beach, Phoenix, and Denver Starz. SLAP has won festival awards, audience awards, and best of fest awards. SLAP was part of Tribeca'€™s American Now+Here tour, where it screened in 5 cities. SLAP now has a distribution deal with Shorts International. www.slapthemovie.com
       Because of her first short, she obtained a grant to write/produce her third short, HELOISE, based on the two French lovers, Heloise and Abelard. HELOISE has screened at several festivals already. Her research for this short script enabled her to write the feature script, HELOISE+ABELARD.
       Today, because of the success of her short films, she has had three of her features optioned by different producers: 1) YEAR OF THE CATERPILLAR, a coming-of-age story, which Alison Eastwood will direct; 2) HELOISE+ABELARD, an historical romance, which CAA gave a €œRecommend€ to; and 3) BLOOD AND WATER, a political thriller set in Guatemala. She has been a finalist twice for the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab for her scripts YEAR OF THE CATERPILLAR (2013) and LANDLORD OF PARADISE (2014).  
       She is a Women in Film (WIF) member, where she also serves as a Mentoring Circle Leader, and served on the Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance (NUEA) Board. She has been a Judge for the Spirit Awards, Big Bear Lake Film Festival, Lunafest, and Zealous X in London. She is a Screenwriters€™ Group member with the University of Virginia Entertainment Los Angeles (UVELA). She has been on a number of film panels with UVELA, NUEA, and the Global Social Change Film Festival in Bali, Indonesia.
       She is also an entrepreneur as President/Founder of KH Consulting Group (KH), a management consulting firm that has served 200 clients in 25 states and 9 foreign countries  www.khconsultinggroup.com At KH, she has worked in an array of fields, including€“ academia, government, healthcare, utilities, bioterrorism, airports, and seaports. She has traveled to more than 50 countries. These experiences help her tell realistic stories in believable settings with characters people care about.
       She has a BS degree, Northwestern University, School of Communication; a Masters degree, Tufts University; Ph.D. and Masters degrees, University of Virginia; and a post-doctorate fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Program. She attended the Squaw Valley Screenwriters' Program where she worked on a new script, completed the two-year Writers' Bootcamp Program, and earned a Feature Screenwriting Certificate through UCLA Extension. She teaches public policy with international graduate students at the University of Southern California.
       She raised a Millennial son and resides in Los Angeles with her husband Jeffrey.