Writer’s Statement

“I write because I want people to know that they no longer have to carry shame that does not belong to them. I want my audiences to feel the empowerment that comes with healing trauma through truth telling. I write to challenge the acceptance of unacceptable things, and because I am passionate about the interweaving of power and beauty in storytelling. My characters embody the tenet that true strength lies in gentleness – that at the root of all healing is the love and acceptance of self.”

The Short Story

Aminah is an Australian writer/director with a focus on trauma recovery, women’s stories and examining male characters through a feminine lens. She has worked as a Research Assistant at the Department of Justice Crime Prevention Unit and a covert writer of witness statements, working alongside state and federal police. She spent many years on set as an Assistant Director, before establishing Sky Woman Productions in 2019.

Aminah’s projects have screened in numerous festivals throughout the US, Europe and Australia. In 2020, she was accepted as a member of the Australian Directors Guild and in 2021, she moved to Los Angeles, where she has worked on features for Paramount, Warner Bros, Universal, Disney, MGM, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures and Netflix, as a Scripting Editor in dubbing. In 2024 she became an invited member of the LA-based, Independent Writers Caucus.

Aminah has won numerous international awards as a screenwriter, director, songwriter and musician, and has been a featured vocalist on various productions, including Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock, based on the popular NBCUniversal Television Series.

The Longer Story

Hailed by Musical Notes Global (New York) as “a true Renaissance woman” Aminah Hughes has won local and international awards as a musician, music producer, screenwriter, director and photographer.

She grew up in Western Australia and lived in Sydney, Switzerland and Ireland before immigrating to the US in 2021. In her youth, she lived an eclectic life as a classical flautist, poet, DJ, theatre actor and film reviewer before becoming a roots musician, photographer and filmmaker. To support herself in the arts, she spent two decades employed in legal fields, including at the library of the Supreme Court, as a research assistant at the Department of Justice and as a writer of witness statements, working alongside state and federal police.

After training in directing, Aminah spent several years working on a range of US and Australian film and TV projects as a 1st & 2nd AD. In 2019, Aminah took the reins as director and producer, establishing Sky Woman Productions, with her debut project winning Best Video at Revelation: Perth International Film Festival, her second earning her a Best Director award at the Independent Music Awards in New York. In 2020, she was accepted as a member of the Australian Directors Guild and in 2021, she immigrated to Los Angeles, where she has worked on features for Paramount, Warner Bros, Universal, Disney, MGM, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures and Netflix. She has worked in Australia and the US as a Camera Operator for music videos and live concerts.

Aminah’s LA directorial debut, a collaboration with American actor and musician, Dylan Kussman, premiered in September, 2022. A powerful piece written from the perspective of parents who have lost a child to gun violence, What Are We Fighting For (If Ain’t Love)? draws attention to the CDC’s recent determination that “firearms are now the number one cause of death for children in the United States” and acts as an offering to the families who are suffering, to give voice to those who need to be heard now more than ever.

In 2023, Aminah completed post on her narrative short, SOLACE, which she wrote, directed and photographed during Australia’s Covid lockdowns. In 2024 she became an invited member of the LA-based, Independent Writers Caucus. She is currently in pre-production with Kussman on their co-write WE CAN NEVER GO BACK, starring Kussman and Allelon Ruggiero, for which she is slated to direct.

Aminah appears on fourteen albums in Europe, Australia and America as a songwriter, vocalist, instrumentalist and producer, and has recorded vocals on various productions, including Who Do You Think You Are?, and highly anticipated game, Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock, based on the popular NBCUniversal Television Series.

View her studio work on IMDB Pro.

Current Project

ACHIEVEMENTS IN FILMMAKING

 

SOLACE  (short) 2023 – as writer/director/producer/cinematographer/editor

WINNER Breathtaking Visuals Award – Valkyrie International Film Festival (Buffalo, NY) 2024

Official Selection – Revelation Perth International Film Festival 2024

Official Selection – Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival 2024

Official Selection – Austin Lift-Off Film Festival 2024

Official Selection – WA Made Film Festival (Perth) 2024

Nominee, Best Narrative Short – Montreal Women Film Festival 2023

 

WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR (IF IT AIN’T LOVE)? by Aminah Hughes and Dylan Kussman

(music video) 2022 – as writer/director/producer

Official Selection – Los Angeles Independent Women Film Awards 2023

 

TELL ME IT’S OVER by Aminah Hughes  (music video) 2020 – as writer/director/producer

Official Selection – Paris Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – Austin Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – London Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Toronto Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – New York Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival 2020

Exclusive Premiere – American Songwriter Magazine (Nashville) 2020

 

I NEED TO LEARN by Aminah Hughes (music video) 2019 – as writer/director/producer

WINNER Best Director of Short Form Music Video, Vox Pop Award – Independent Music Awards (New York) 2020

Official Selection – Paris Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – Austin Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – London Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Toronto Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – New York Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – European Cinefest Golden Nika (Prague) 2021

Official Selection – Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival 2020

Official Selection – Revelation Perth International Film Festival 2019

Official Selection – WAMFest Mini Music Video Festival 2019

Exclusive Premiere – Musical Notes Global (New York) 2019

 

NAF NAF by Steve Hensby Band (music video) 2019 – as writer/director/producer

WINNER Best Video – Revelation: Perth International Film Festival 2019

Official Selection – Austin Lift-Off Film Festival 2023

Official Selection – Paris Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – New York Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – Toronto Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – WAMFest Mini Music Video Festival 2019

 

BLUE WOODEN BOAT by Aminah Hughes (music video) 2018 – as writer/producer

SEMI-FINALIST Best Music Video – International Songwriting Competition Music Video Category (Nashville) 2018

Official Selection – Paris Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – Austin Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

Official Selection – London Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Toronto Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – New York Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

Official Selection – Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival 2020

Official Selection – WA Unlocked Film Festival 2019

Exclusive Premiere – Scenestr (Melbourne) 2018

ACHIEVEMENTS IN WRITING FOR SCREEN

 

WE CAN NEVER GO BACK (short screenplay) – co-write with Dylan Kussman

Top 12% of discoverable projects on Coverfly (March, 2024)

Quarterfinalist – ScreenCraft Short Screenplay Contest (LA) 2024

Semifinalist –  Cinequest Screenwriting Competition (LA) 2023-2024

Second Rounder – ScreenCraft Film Fund (LA) 2023

 

THE RUBICON (short screenplay)

Top 1% of discoverable projects on Coverfly (December, 2023)

#13 Drama Short of All-Time – The Red List (April 2021)

#12 Drama Shorts of the Year – The Red List 2019

WINNER – Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

WINNER – Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival 2020

WINNER – ScreenCraft Short Screenplay Contest (LA) 2018

WINNER – Filmmatic Short Screenplay Awards (LA) 2019

SEMI-FINALIST – Austin Film Festival Short Screenplay Competition 2019

SEMI-FINALIST – Cinequest Screenwriting Competition (LA) 2020

FINALIST – Katra Film Series (New York) 2019

FINALIST – Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards 2019

FINALIST – Hollywood Screenplay Contest 2019

Official Selection – Florence Film Awards 2019

Official Selection – Rome Prisma Independent Film Awards 2019

 

THE INSIDE OF A SHELL (feature screenplay)

Top 22% of discoverable projects on Coverfly (December, 2023)

TOP 10% – The Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting (LA) 2022

QUARTER-FINALIST – The Script Lab Free Screenplay Contest (LA) 2021

 

THE YARD (short screenplay)

Top 13% of discoverable projects on Coverfly (December, 2023)

FINALIST  – California Women’s Film Festival 2020

SEMI-FINALIST – ScreenCraft Short Screenplay Contest (LA) 2020

SEMI-FINALIST – Filmmatic Short Screenplay Awards (LA) 2020

 

THE LOUNGE WITH AMINAH HUGHES (non-fiction vodcast)

#5 Other Podcasts of the Year – The Red List 2021

#5 Other Podcasts of the Month – The Red List January 2021

QUARTER-FINALIST – ScreenCraft Podcast Writing Competition (LA) 2020-2021

ACHIEVEMENTS IN PHOTOGRAPHY

WINNER Breathtaking Visuals Award – Valkyrie International Film Festival (Buffalo, NY) 2024

WINNER – Blink Photography Awards 2018

Aminah Hughes & Dylan Kussman – What Are We Fighting For (If It Ain’t Love)? (USA) 2022 – cover photographer

Koas – No Expectations LP (UK) 2018 – cover & sleeve photographer

The Inimitable Beauty (international project) 2015-2018 – photographer / writer / producer

Yes! Equality Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality (Ireland) 2015 – official photographer, Sligo chapter

2015 Musicians of Sligo Calendar (Ireland) – photographer / producer

19th Sligo Festival of Baroque Music (Ireland) 2014 – event photographer

Seamie O’Dowd – Wood & Iron LP (Ireland) 2014 – cover & sleeve photographer

Kieran Quinn – Note Just Black & White LP (Ireland) 2013 – sleeve photographer

Sligo International Jazz Festival (Ireland) 2013 – event photographer

Mairtin O’Connor Band – Going Places LP (Ireland) 2012 – sleeve photographer