Friday, January 27, 2023
This native Washingtonian is an acclaimed writer, director and producer who worked on The Avengers, Avatar & Sony Pictures’ Godzilla. She is also the founder and creator of a platform designed to support and amplify underrepresented voices.

Washington, DC— The District of Columbia Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) is pleased to recognize AUDREA TOPPS HARJO as the January 2023 Filmmaker of the Month.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and OCTFME are committed to celebrating and supporting local filmmakers and creators. In 2017, she reactivated the Film Rebate Fund to encourage the use of the District of Columbia as a production location for film, television, live events, interactive, and digital video content; support the development of media industry infrastructure projects; and incentivize the hiring of District residents as cast and crew.

“DC, the district of comebacks and creativity, is open across all 8 Wards and welcoming to all 50 states. It is the destination of choice for creators, residents and visitors”, says Director LaToya Foster. “Our strong talent base and industry presence attracts filmmakers across the globe to create and produce their stories”

Audrea Topps Harjo has always been a storyteller, using words and dance to captivate audiences from a very early age. Audrea knew that she wanted to be a storyteller early on, listing it in her Junior High School Yearbook. Born and raised in Washington DC, she grew up reading incessantly. Reading stories allowed her to be anywhere, be anyone and do anything. Fueling her imagination, she knew that she wanted to make this a career. She began her journey in the arts at the prestigious College of William & Mary, majoring in theatre with a concentration in directing for the stage. While there, she was member of the dance company Orchesis and choreographed for main stage shows “Anything Goes” and “Hair.” Upon graduation she was awarded the same scholarship that Glenn Close had received years earlier: the Jefferson Cup for Theatre Excellence.

After a short stint acting in summer stock in Ohio and assistant directing at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Audrea earned her master’s degree in film at Howard University. Her short film “Raw Intensity” received the Prized Pieces award for Best Student Work from the National Black Programming Consortium in 1991. It went on to screen at the Angelika Film Center in New York City, the Black Filmmaker’s Festival of Film and Video in San Francisco and numerous other festivals that season. Her thesis film, “Hard Candy,” was nominated for a Student Academy Award in 1993.

Audrea moved to Los Angeles, where she worked behind the scenes on various films to broaden her spectrum of experience.  She was recruited by Sony Pictures Imageworks, a visual effects powerhouse, in 1995,as a software coordinator and supervised the digital crew, scheduled staffing for postproduction in creating and developing innovative visual effects for “Contact,” “Starship Troopers,” and “Godzilla.” Ghost and the Darkness, Michael and Phenomenon. She was responsible for reporting out to the various VFX teams working on the shows and the status of software department requests.

After a year, she progressed to be the Digital Production Manager for Contact, responsible for data management and scheduling the 165 team for tasks, and delivery across the VFX pipeline from scanning in, dust busting, March move, 3D modeling, texture painting, FX, composting and film out for over 2,000 shots.

After Contact she worked on the High-Speed Compositing Team with Sheena Duggal on Starship Troopers as the Digital Department Manager for the studio. She then moved back to production to work on Godzilla, then working as the Animation Producer on Stuart Little.

Following her impressive work, she left Sony Pictures to start her own production company, Obsidian Pictures, Inc., which completed “Epoch of Lotus” in 2001. It starred Ho-Sung Pak and TJ Storm and made its way to the Cannes Film Market, going on to acquire the Best Filmmaking Award for “Best Thirty Minute Film” from the 1st Damah Film Festival in Seattle, Washington.

In 2002, after the birth of her daughter, Audrea shifted back to work in high-end visual effects as a digital production manager and digital producer, respectively, on “X-Men 2,” “Garfield” and “Sky Captain, World of Tomorrow.” After working at Electronic Arts for six years as development director for console and mobile games, Audrea was asked to move to New Zealand in 2011 to work for Peter Jackson’s WETA Digital, where she served as production manager for the creatures department on such projects as “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Adventures of Tintin,” “The Hobbit,” ”The Avengers” and “Man of Steel.” Audrea returned to Los Angeles in 2013 and worked for James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, serving as the virtual production liaison between WETA Digital and Lightstorm for the “Avatar” sequels. After 6 months she moved to Lightstorm to work directly under Jon Landau supporting the stage as the Coordinating Producer for the project back in 2015.

Audrea came full circle in 2014, writing, directing and producing the short film “Phases,” then went on to produce three feature-length independent feature films “Secrets”, “All In” which won Best Narrative at the American Black Film Festival in 2019 and “The Available Wife” which was picked up by UMC’s new streaming which premiered December 15, 2020.

“I'm ecstatic and deeply moved to be recognized by the OCTFME's Filmmaker of the Month,” said Topps Harjo. “There is nothing sweeter than coming home and doing what you absolutely love to you. I thank you.”

After wrapping post-production, she served as Mind & Machine’s VFX Producer on Ridley Scott’s “Raised by Wolves.”  She moved to New Zealand, where she served as COO and Head of Production of A44 Games in Wellington and founded Inclusion FX, which is a platform designed to support and amplify underrepresented voices in the VFX for features, television, and games industries. She currently resides in Washington, DC and produces independent feature films.

You can learn more about Audrea’s past, current, and future projects at InclusionFX, or follow her on her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter social media accounts.


Audrea's Film Credits:

Visual Effects Producer: Mischief Upon Mischief (In Production)
Visual Effects Producer: Raised by Wolves (2020)
Producer: The Available Wife (2020)
Producer: All In (2019)
Line Producer: Secrets (2017)
Creatures Production Manager: The Wolverine (2013)
Digital Effects Crew: Man of Steel (2013)
Digital Effects Crew: Iron Man 3 (2013)
Creatures Department Manager: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Creatures Production Manager: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
Production/Data Resource Department: Prometheus (2012)
Production Manager: The Avengers (2012)


Audrea's Social Media Handles:                                    


Audrea's Professional Websites: 




Want to learn more about Audrea Topps Harjo and her work? Click HERE to listen to her DC Radio interview.




The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) launched the “Filmmaker of the Month” initiative as a vehicle for highlighting the talents and creative contributions of filmmakers that make the District of Columbia their home. The “Filmmaker of the Month” initiative is part of OCTFME’s mission to elevate the national and international profile of the District’s talented filmmakers.

***If you know of a filmmaker that would make a great future “Filmmaker of the Month,” you can send OCTFME your recommendations using this nomination form.



The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME) produces and broadcasts programming for the District of Columbia's public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable television channels and digital radio station; regulates the District of Columbia's cable television service providers; provides customer service for cable subscribers; and supports a sustainable film, music, and entertainment creative economy and labor market in the District of Columbia.

OCTFME award-winning content provides resourceful information on government activity, education, current events, history, music, arts, and entertainment. OCTFME operates and manages the District’s government television access channels: the District Council Channel (DCC), the District of Columbia Network (DCN), and the District Knowledge Network (DKN).

OCTFME owns, manages, operates, and programs the District of Columbia Entertainment Network (DCE). This 24-hour on-demand streaming network delivers diverse and inclusive – FREE – lifestyle, music, live events, sports, arts, variety shows, talk shows, educational and entertainment programming from the nation’s capital into homes via ROKU, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV as well as iPhone and Android mobile devices by downloading the DCE Network App or at DCENetwork.com.

OCTFME also owns, operates, manages, and programs DC Radio 96.3 HD4 digital radio station, the District of Columbia’s first government radio station, in partnership with Howard University’s WHUR. It is one of only two full-power, city-managed and programmed radio stations in the country.

OCTFME provides production support services that advance film, television, video, entertainment, interactive, multimedia, and digital media content creators. These services include permitting, location scouting, production support; job placement assistance; workforce development; and the DC Film, Television, and Entertainment Rebate Fund.

OCTFME provides additional support to the Creative community through the Creative Affairs Office (CAO), and Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: 202Creates initiative. CAO showcases and preserves the District of Columbia’s rich creative communities throughout all 8 Wards. CAO builds sustainability in the creative community through policy, programming, and education, further expanding the middle-class pathway for the creative workforce. CAO coordinates public, private, and community partners to accomplish all goals and create equitable and inclusive opportunities for the District’s creatives. Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: 202Creates initiative, administers programs that support the growth and sustainability of the creative industries throughout the District.

For more information, contact the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment at (202) 671-0066, visit us online at: entertainment.dc.gov, and follow us on Facebook.com/entertaindc, Instagram.com/entertain_dc, and Twitter.com/entertain_dc.