Daresha Kyi writes, produces, and directs documentary and narrative film and all kinds of television in Spanish and English. A natural born storyteller, she made her first short, experimental film, Schism, at the age of 16.
As a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she was awarded a Tisch Scholars fellowship, and graduated with a degree in Film & TV. Her award-winning student film, The Thinnest Line, helped her receive grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and other foundations to fund her second film, Land Where My Fathers Died. Based on this multiple award-winning short, which she wrote, produced, directed and co-starred in with Isaiah Washington in his screen debut, she was chosen in a nationwide search to receive a full fellowship from TriStar Pictures to attend the Directors Program at The American Film Institute (AFI). She also produced a documentary short about violence against lesbians called Just Because of Who We Are as part of a women's collective called Heramedia.
In 2018 she directed a short film about transgender rights for the ACLU that garnered over 1.9 million YouTube views, was screened at SXSW and recently won two Webby Awards. In 2017 she co-directed and co-produced the feature-length documentary, Chavela, which was nominated for the Teddy award and won the 2nd place Panorama Audience Award at the 2017 Berlinale, as well as Best Documentary and Audience Awards at Outfest and the San Francisco LGBTQ Film Festival. Chavela secured theatrical distribution domestically and internationally and was screened on 160 screens in 42 countries. It is currently streaming on AmazonPrime, GooglePlay, iTunes, youtube, and Vudu. In 2017 Daresha also co-produced Dispatches from Cleveland for Aubin Pictures. In 2015 she produced Kristina Wong’s How NOT to Pick Up Asian Women. In 2014 she served as EP of Emmy-winning writer Kevin Avery’s satirical take on The Wiz starring an all-white cast called The Whizz and she produced his short comedy, Thugs The Musical in 2011. Her projects have received funding from NEA, IDA, NBPC, NYSCA, NYFA, Frameline, Jerome, and the Women in Film Finishing Fund, among others.
In addition to her film work, Daresha has produced award-winning television for WE, AMC, Oxygen, E!, Telemundo, Bravo, and FUSE, among many other channels. Most recently she served as head writer for the weekend morning talk show, Arise & Shine, hosted by Richard Pryor's daughter, Rain Pryor, as a story producer on La Voz Kids (Telemundo's The Voice for children), and as a field producer on FXX's Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.
Daresha was a 2016-17 fellow in the Firelight Media Documentary Lab and is currently a member of the Chicken & Egg Eggcelerator, Creative Capital and A Blade Of Grass fellowships.