headshot photo of Bettina Gilois

Bettina Gilois

Assistant Professor
Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Office Location: Marion Knott Studios 344
Phone: (714) 997-6572
Barnard College, Columbia University, Bachelor of Arts
Antioch University Los Angeles, Master of Fine Arts


Bettina Gilois is an award winning screenwriter and author who has been writing in Hollywood for over twenty years. Her screen credits include Disney's Glory Road and Mcfarland, USA with Kevin Costner, also the HBO film, Bessie, starring Queen Latifah, for which she was nominated for an Emmy. Her awards and nominations for Best Screenplay include two Image Award nominations for Bessie and McFarland, USA, the Humanitas Prize for Glory Road, two Movieguide Libertas Awards for Best Picture, and two Black Reel Awards. She currently has two movies in development, one with Howie Deutch directing, another with Lifetime Studios.

Gilois first began working as an assistant to the director of Liquid Sky, Slava Tsukerman, in her native Berlin, as well as working at Andy Warhol's Factory in New York on the television series "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes." She subsequently joined Keith Barish and Arnold Kopelson productions as a development executive, which led to her producing credits on "Fire Birds" and "Triple Bogey On A Par Five Hole".

She began her writing career working with Joel Silver Productions, followed with many projects at Warner Brothers. In the last twenty years she has worked with notable producers, directors, and actors, such as Jerry Bruckheimer, Joel Surnow, Norman Jewison, Joel Silver, Michael Mann, Dick and Lili Zanuck, Jeffrey Katzenberg, William Friedkin, Robert Zemeckis, Nick Nolte, James Coburn, Michael Douglas, Queen Latifah, Nicolas Cage, Robert DeNiro, and Kevin Costner.

Her book "Billion Dollar Painter: The Triumph and Tragedy of Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light" for Weinstein Books is being made into a movie with Channing Tatum. Other books include "Mi Vida Loca: The Crazy Life of Johnny Tapia," which is also in pre-production for 2017.

Gilois' interest in the arts was synthesized in her life's dedication to film and screenwriting. She is also a special contributor to the Huffington Post Arts and Culture section, and has written journalistically about film, art and art history, and worked on set in the music and art departments of numerous film and television productions.

She teaches graduate and undergraduate screenwriting at Chapman University with her most professional piece of advice being: "Never ignore a note."

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Co-wrote screenplay of "Conquistador" for producer Cary Brokaw, Christian Bale attached, about Cabeza de Vaca, who crossed America on foot in 1530, gaining a following of American Indians that numbered in the thousands.
Wrote the screenplay "A Million Miles Away" for Netflix, about the life of astronaut Jose Hernandez, the first Mexican American migrant worker to make it to the international space station.
Co-wrote the screenplay "Rebuilding Rome" for producer Matt Baer about the life of African American football legend Stan Rome and his recovery from addiction.
Wrote the screenplay "Snowman" for director Howard Deutch, about the most famous horse in America in 1958, a plow horse that was saved from slaughter that ended up Triple Crown World Champion in horse jumping.