Ellen Houlihan


Empowering the Underdog


Ellen Houlihan is an Emmy-winning and Clio-nominated comedy writer and director focused on empowering the underdog. Her work has been recognized by Free The Work (fka Free The Bid), The Film Society of Lincoln Center, The AICP, Cannes Lions, The One Club for Creativity and Shoot Magazine's New Directors Search. She has directed Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated talent, as well as recognizable talent from top film, TV and commercial campaigns.

Ellen honed her comedy and directing chops at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Art Center College of Design (MFA program), and is passionate about storytelling often with female protagonists and strong-willed underdogs

She is currently freelancing as a director and as a copywriter in Los Angeles, New York and remotely; and has worked for and with major ad agencies and entertainment companies including Droga5, Deutsch, 72andSunny, The One Club and BuzzFeed. She is currently seeking representation.

Directing highlights to date include debuting her graduate thesis film Joan’s Day Out starring Oscar-nominated actress Sally Kellerman (Robert Altman's M*A*S*H) and Hulu Casual star Tara Lynne Barr at film festivals across the globe including the prestigious New York Film Festival; highlighting the LGBTQ suicide crisis in a hard-hitting Emmy-winning PSA starring standup comic Todd Glass which went viral and won several prestigious advertising industry awards; a Clio-nominated branded documentary short film about a female race car driver striving to make it in NASCAR which can be found on Upworthy; and directing a viral campaign for Avion Tequila, made famous on HBO’s Entourage, with oversight from Avion’s CEO Ken Austin.