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KELLY KRAUSE is an archaeologist turned award-winning writer/director/producer via burlesque—you heard right!


After more than fourteen years in the archaeological sector, working with projects and institutions that include the Egyptian Ministry of State of Antiquities, UNESCO, History Channel, Discovery Channel and the Qatari royal family, Kelly was ready for her next adventure. Inspired by the diverse women featured in the documentary A Wink and a Smile, she returned to her creative roots in theater and took up burlesque. Fast forward a couple of years and Kelly was writing a short play for her next act—she was hooked! She took that script and developed it into her first screenplay and hasn’t looked back since. 

Kelly’s scripts are among the Top 1% of the Coverfly Red List, and have placed highly in PAGE, Screencraft, Roadmap Writers, GenreBlast, WeScreenplay and Table Read My Screenplay, among others. Specializing in atmospheric, character-driven genre, her writing aims to center the experiences of communities that have often been ignored or erased. She loves throwing ordinary characters headfirst into extraordinary (usually supernatural) situations, exploring the complex relationships that evolve along their journey together. Largely influenced by her archaeological background—where she collaborated with marginalized communities regularly to ensure their inclusion in projects—her goal is to redefine the white male-dominated genre space and the roles of underrepresented creators within it.

Kelly fenced sabre for Boston University and was previously scouted for the Egyptian National Boxing Team, but don't worry ... She prefers to kill you with kindness, rather than with her hands (or sword!). She is the Co-founder of Nyx Horror Collective, a producer for micro-short film festival 13 Minutes of Horror, which streams on SHUDDER, and a Co-Founder of the Stowe Story Labs/Nyx Horror Collective Fellowship, which benefits a woman-identifying horror screenwriter. She and her co-producers at Nyx were awarded "Best Short Film" by the 2022 Rondo Hatton Awards (a.k.a. "the horror Oscars") for 13 Minutes of Horror: Sci-Fi, the only women-led project nominated in that category.


Kelly recently completed her first film, a psychological horror short called Storage, which was backed by Couper Samuelson, President of Feature Films at Blumhouse. The film won "Best Dark Drama" at Oregon Screams Horror Film Festival and was nominated in the "Best First-time Filmmaker" category at the Toronto International Women Film Festival. 


Storage marks the soft launch of Kelly's production company, Dark Coven, which aims to develop an equity-driven, co-op style production model for indie genre projects from underrepresented voices. She is also a practicing witch and isn't afraid to use her powers for good. Now into her fourth decade, Kelly's journey has taught her to never wait for permission to create and that you're never too old to reinvent yourself—go get it!

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