About C.J.

Writer. Director. Editor.

C.J. is a media creator specializing in genre-driven, comedic, and inclusive content.

As a writerC.J. was named by the International Screenwriters’ Association in 2019 as one of the Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch. His feature script titled Geller High School’s Mondo-Secret Crush Committee, a heist/teen rom-com mash-up, won 1st Prize in Columbia College Chicago’s Written Image contest in the Alumni Feature Screenplay category. The script also won the Grand Prize in the New York Screenplay Contest’s Action/Adventure category. The judges called it “smart, highly original, and very entertaining,” and the Creative World Awards said, “This story has great commercial potential and could really resonate with audiences.”

As a video director, C.J.’s work has been featured at the New York Television Film Festival, the Independent Television Festival, Out Web Fest, London Short Series Festival, the Miami Web Festival, and was a finalist at the Chicago International Blow-Up Arthouse Film Festival. His videos have been spotlighted several times on the front page of Funny or Die. He has also directed video for big names such as The Second City, McDonald’s, Chef Boyardee, Motorola, and the Heaven’s Door whiskey brand co-created by Bob Dylan.

C.J. has served as video editor for Walgreens, GE, Hanes, Orbitz, Clorox, Nissan, and Secret Deodorant, with millions of viewers on branded social media channels, in-store displays, online training portals, and broadcast television.

He has also provided video content for theatre companies including Joffrey Ballet, Victory Gardens Theatre, and Theatre Seven. Chicago Reader declared, “The show boasts slick video design by C.J. Arellano,” and Time Out Chicago called his video work “astounding.”

C.J. edited Zero Weeks (2018), a feature documentary advocating for paid family leave in America. It won several accolades, including Best Editing at the Colorado International Film Festival. In 2019, he edited forward-facing video content for American Cancer Society and Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. He also served as the lead editor for the digital documentary series Pulling the Thread, produced by The Kindling Group for ITVS and PBS Digital Studios; it will be released in 2020.

His most current writing/directing project is Case Unsolveda horror feature currently in development. ScreenCraft said, “Case Unsolved is a clever and inventive script.” Case Unsolved won IFP Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival’s The Pitch at Industry Days competition. It also won the International Screenwriters’ Association’s Fast Track Fellowship.

To learn more about any of the above projects, drop him a line: CJ@CJarellano.com!


(See more of C.J.’s thrilling social media chatter here.)

photo: Joe Mazza

The writing is sharp. The characters are wonderful, and the dialogue is first-rate. It has incredible market potential. It has everything one asks for in a script.

New York Screenplay Contest

C.J. Arellano's video design is sharp and dynamic.

Time Out Chicago

The show boasts slick video design by C.J. Arellano.

Chicago Reader