2015 Angel Film Awards - Monaco International Film Festival angel awards





Native to San Diego, California, I began my career as an art consultant at sixteen years old. By twenty years old, I owned my own art gallery. During the six years I ran my gallery, I had the privilege of representing some of the nation’s top artists in New York, Las Vegas, and various parts of California. In my free time I spent my summers traveling the world, leading short-term mission trips. As one of the youngest directors, my projects focused on rebuilding homes, feeding projects, educational programs, and teaching leadership in universities. In 2009 I sold my business so I could fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a doctor, but after three years I was diagnosed with a rare hearing disorder. My diagnosis broke my heart but I continued to seek my dream until I began doing clinical work with the United Nations and World Health Organization in the Middle East. It was then that I realized mishearing orders in a hospital setting was much different than doing so in a classroom. The stakes were a lot higher and I was not willing to put other people’s lives at risk, just so I could fulfill my dream. At the core of my passion to become a doctor resided my desire to help others.

After I left the Middle East, I studied human cognition and neuroanatomy in the University of Edinburgh for four months. During this time, I found myself spending my cold winter nights in my tiny studio apartment writing. It was through this that I discovered my love of storytelling. At the end of my semester, I traveled home to the US and matriculated back into the University of California, San Diego. Even though I had less than a year left to complete my premedical studies, I changed my major to Theatre and began to focus solely on becoming a writer.

Within the year, I had written my first book and six full length plays. In June of 2014 I received my Bachelor’s Degree with honors. I graduated summa cum laude, became a Phi Beta Kappa honoree, and was privileged to become a member of UCSD’s Theatre and Dance Alumni.

Since then, I have written over thirty works to date. All of which are aimed towards highlighting social issues. My very rocky past and extensive life experience has armed me with a unique perspective on the social issues addressed within my work. All of which take the form of dramas, inspirational stories, thrillers, and comedies.

While I still struggle to overcome the challenges my hearing disorder has given me, I refuse to say that it has had a negative impact on my life. I am incredibly thankful that I can still influence people’s lives for the better through my work. In that, my dream has not died, it merely changed course.

"HOTSHOT" - A Screenplay Written by Ella WAGNER (USA)

‘Based on a true story’

Logline: (Genre - Drama)

A woman overcomes insurmountable obstacles to find the love of her life and fulfill her dreams of becoming the Wild West’s first female trick rider.


Jolene Cook is one of the first female trick riders of the Wild West. After losing her mother when she was just six years old, she was raised by her father on her family’s farm. Wild and free, riding her horse Troy is Jolene’s passion. After her father is diagnosed with tuberculosis, a seventeen year old Jolene is married off to the General, a much older man.

It quickly becomes clear that the General is lonely and married Jolene as a favor to her father. He enjoys her company, but does not take her as a lover. Instead, he supports her riding and acts as a father-figure in her life. Though, after a year of a comfortably platonic relationship, a more mature Jolene and the General become intimate. Soon thereafter, the General is given orders to fight a war from which he will not likely return.

On their last date before the General leaves, he takes Jolene to a Wild West Show that further inflames her passion for riding. Knowing that Jolene’s talent exceeds that of the riders’ in the show, the General encourages Jolene to audition when the show is over. Within moments of Jolene’s audition, the whole cast is in awe of her ability and she is hired on the spot.

Within weeks of joining the show, she is invited to perform for the King and Queen of England. However, as Jolene learns a new trick during rehearsal, she falls off of her horse at full speed. When she is rushed to a doctor, he informs her that several of her ribs are broken and that she is pregnant with the General’s baby. Keeping her pregnancy and broken ribs a secret, Jolene decides to perform anyway.

After a successful show, she receives a standing ovation from the King and Queen and Jolene’s fame grows exponentially. Sadly, soon after the show is over, Jolene learns that the General has died in battle. Continuing to keep her pain and pregnancy to herself, she continues to perform; eventually giving up her baby for adoption.

The master stagecoach driver, Clark Baker, is Jolene’s friend who challenges her and the only one who knows the pain Jolene is enduring. Even though he is madly in love with her, he does not attempt to court her until their fellow crew members tire of watching him wait. After a pressing word from a friend, Clark gains the courage to ask Jolene out and she accepts. However, she had already agreed to a date with a bull rider from the show, Frank, that evening.

The other crew members had unwittingly set Jolene up on a date with Frank just before Clark asked her out. Their only hope was to make Clark jealous enough to make his move on Jolene, now he was just jealous. Knowing that Frank might mess up his chance to be with Jolene, an impassioned Clark warns him that it will be his only date with her, and it was.

Soon thereafter, the show moved to California and began creating some of the original Hollywood Westerns. As one of the few riders invited to stay with the show as it transitioned into the film era, Jolene’s name is forever imprinted into the history of the Wild West.

Jolene Cook will forever be known for performing tricks on horses at full speed, riding bulls, bucking broncos, elephants, and two horses at once while standing. A true performer of the Wild West: pregnancies, broken bones, illnesses, and exhaustion—nothing stopped Jolene from giving her audience what they wanted. Clark Baker became the love of her life, partner in crime, and fathered her one and only son. Death was the only thing that separated them. Jolene continued performing well into her nineties. Eventually she passed on her undying spirit and love for riding to her great-granddaughter, Rochelle, in which she knows her legacy will continue.