Brenna Malloy ’13

Director, Television and Film

Brenna Malloy on the set of Chicago Fire

Aptitude and ambition have placed Brenna Malloy in the director’s chair. But she’d be the first to tell you that aptitude and ambition are not enough.

“You need some breaks, too,” she says. “If I hadn’t been given an opportunity at NBC, I wouldn’t have a TV directing career right now.”

Last year, NBC named Malloy as one of five women in Female Forward, a program that gives female directors a chance to direct an episode of an NBC show. Since then, she has directed three episodes of Chicago Fire at NBC plus one episode of 9-1-1 at Fox.

There’s this subtext of kindness in a Jesuit education that I’ve certainly carried on through my work as a director

“I’ve been fortunate,” Malloy says. In 2016, she and Sarah Hulsman ’13 won a Student Academy Award for their short film, Rocket, set in the world of 1950s dirt track car racing. “Whether it’s someone giving me five minutes to share advice or sending my reel and resume on to someone else — that’s the kindness I want to pay forward to others.”

Brenna Malloy on the set of her film Rocket

In fact, she says, it was during her years as a media studies major at USF that she first realized that kindness has a place in the world of work.

“There’s this subtext of kindness in a Jesuit education that I’ve certainly carried on through my work as a director,” she says. “I think it’s really important that I try to send the elevator back down to more women directors coming up behind me. Also, the choices I make in the hiring of people, both in front of the camera and behind the camera, can help shape a better version of our media industry.”