Director (S1-S3), Executive Producer, Co-Creator, Co-Showrunner
Carlos Portugal is a writer, producer and director, who began his career at KQED, San Francisco’s PBS station, where he produced the Emmy Award-winning documentary Frida Kahlo: Portrait of an Artist. He has worked for ABC, NBC, Lifetime, Telemundo, Fox and Fox Kids. He also worked for three seasons as a staff writer on Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns and House of Payne for TBS Network. Portugal co-wrote and directed two independent movies, the award-winning East Side Story and Pop Star, a teen musical that premiered on Lifetime. Carlos is the showrunner of East Los High.
Katie Elmore Mota
Executive Producer, Co-Showrunner, Director
Katie Elmore-Mota is Executive Producer of East Los High and Co-Showrunner of Season 4, she also directed two episodes and has spearheaded the creative development and production of East Los High since its inception. She is Co-President of Wise Entertainment, a production company dedicated to creating cutting-edge and socially relevant entertainment programming – Wise Entertainment is the production company behind East Los High. Additionally, Wise Entertainment is developing a new TV series in partnership with John Legend and Mike Jackson’s production company, Get Lifted, which Katie co-created.
Prior to founding Wise, Katie produced Último Año, a telenovela with MTV Latin America that premiered in the US in February 2013. She has worked with the United Nations, international governments and media partners to oversee the design, development and management of programs using media for social change in countries such as Ethiopia, Egypt, and Turkey. Katie received a Masters in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research in New York and degrees in History and Sociology from the University of Vermont.
Co-Creator, Executive Producer
Kathleen Bedoya is a writer, television producer and programming executive with a pioneering career in the Latino entertainment market. She has worked at HBO, FOX, Telemundo, MTV Tr3s, MTV Latin America and Galan Entertainment developing and overseeing groundbreaking programming for Latino audiences in the U.S. and Latin America. At Telemundo, she served as Vice President of Alternative Programming and at MTV Tr3s as Executive in Charge of Production. A graduate of Vassar College, Bedoya is Colombian-American.
Maurício Mota, is a Co-President of Wise Entertainment, the production company behind East Los High. Mota is a pioneer in developing and shaping social, trend driven content for new media and underrepresented audiences. He represents the fourth generation of one of the most important Brazilian storytelling families and has helped re-shape the estate created by his grandfather, Nelson Rodrigues, who is considered the Brazilian Shakespeare. Most recently, he co-created with Carla Esmeralda the School of Series, a TV series development lab that will shape the next generation of showrunners and content creators in Brazil and trains 700 writers and producers a year. Additionally, Mota and the Wise Entertainment team have several new projects in the works, including a TV series being produced in partnership with Get Lifted, Mike Jackson and John Legend’s production company, and a supernatural drama with Carlton Cuse.
Director, Co-Executive Producer
East Los High season three represented Carlos Reza’s episodic directorial debut (episodes 307-312). In Season 4, he directed nine of the 12 episodes. Born in El Paso, Texas, Reza worked his way through college and received a BA in Radio, Television and Film from California State University Northridge in 2001. He started working as a Production Assistant straight out of college and worked his way up to Assistant Director, joining the Directors Guild of America in 2013. As an Assistant Director, Reza worked on independent movies like In A World, directed by Lake Bell, and ABC Family’s Twisted. Reza has been part of the East Los High production since the first season. He has been interested in storytelling since his youth and feels fortunate that he gets to work in film and TV production.
Co-Producer, Director, 1st Assistant Director
Efrain Cortes is Co-Producer, Director (Episode 409) and 1st Assistant Director of East Los High. A graduate of Harvard University, Efrain is a Nuyorican born and raised in the South Bronx during the rise of Hip Hop and Freestyle music. He began his career in television and film in 2002 when he was accepted into the prestigious Directors Guild of America Producer Training Plan. Since then he’s worked at the highest level of production on such shows as Changeling, Yes, Cloverfield, the West Wing, Desperate Housewives, The O.C., Parks & Recreation, Last Man on Earth, and Love, just to name a few. Episode 409 represents his episodic directorial debut.
Director of Photography
After first making a name for herself on a series of low budget feature films, Kira Kelly is now best known for her beautiful work on Hulu’s Emmy nominated East Los High. Her career began as a gaffer in NYC before making the leap to cinematographer on dozens of music videos. Her first feature began a long-lasting collaboration with director Tom Gustafson. The musical Were The World Mine (winner of 15 jury and 11 audience awards) gave us our first look at her incredible work, summed up perfectly in The Hollywood Reporter: “The lush cinematography belies the modest budget.” Kira also shot Gustafson’s second feature, , in Guadalajara, Mexico. Kira’s passion for documentary work has taken her around the world to countries as unfamiliar as Rwanda and Cuba, to global events like the World Cup Final in South Africa, and to meet childhood hero Olympic Champion Greg Louganis. Back On Board: Greg Louganis was recently nominated for an Emmy for Best Sports Documentary. Kira’s commercial clients include Nordstrom, Coca-Cola, Chase, Colgate, Nike, Cover Girl, Hewlett-Packard, SC Johnson, Centric, MTV, VH1, Motorola and more.