About C.J.

Writer. Director. Editor.

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

His most current writing/directing project is Case Unsolveda queer-themed horror narrative currently in pre-production. 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.

C.J.’s screenwriting work has won multiple awards. 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.” In 2018, two of his scripts were named quarterfinalists in ScreenCraft’s Pilot Launch competition: a pilot version of the above-mentioned Case Unsolved, and a queer-themed spy-caper called Lucas

As a video director, C.J. has created short form content for globally renowned comedy theater The Second City, acclaimed comedy group 3Peat, and storied writer/performer John Loos. His directing work was featured at the New York Television Film Festival in July 2018, and has been featured at festivals such as Out Webfest and the Indie Series Awards. His videos have been spotlighted several times on the front page of Funny or Die. He has also directed video for big brands such as Chef Boyardee and McDonald’s.

The Coat Room, a web series he directed, was an official selection at the London Short Series Festival (where star Julia DiFerdinando won Best Actress!), the Miami Web Festival, the Television Feedback Festival, and is a finalist at the Chicago International Blow-Up Arthouse Film Festival.

C.J. has served as video editor for Motorola, Walgreens, GE, Hanes, Orbitz, Clorox, Nissan, and Secret Deodorant, garnering 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.”

In 2017, C.J. edited Zero Weeks, a feature documentary advocating for paid family leave in America. It won several accolades, including Best Editing at the Colorado International Film Festival. In 2018, he completed work as the lead editor on digital documentary series Pulling the Thread, produced by The Kindling Group for ITVS and PBS Digital Studios

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