A native of Cleveland Ohio, Tina Cesa Ward attended Columbia College in Chicago to study writing and directing. Her short film Bardo was hailed as one of the best films of the year. Tina soon moved to New York, where she decided directing for the stage would help to develop her directing skills. She directed John Giblin’s play Freak Show at the American Theatre of Actors and won the Jean Dalrymple Award for Best Director. During this time, Tina also worked in postproduction, working her way up to editor, to again help her develop important skills needed to be a director.
Quickly jumping back to directing for film, Tina wrote and directed several short films, most notably, In Their Absence which screened in over a dozen festivals around the world, was awarded five times both domestically and abroad and was named one of the best short films of the decade by Festival de cortos MíraLes in 2011.
Soon after, Tina directed the successful New York premiere of the play The Red Mollies by Colin P. Delaney. Later, Tina adapted the play into her feature film debut Red Molly.
In 2008, Tina jumped into the web world and for the next several years, Tina was the Executive Producer/Co-Writer/Director of hit independent scripted drama, Anyone But Me. Anyone But Me has reached over 50 million views and has brought home nearly ever industry award, highlighted by Tina (along with Susan Miller) winning the first ever Writers Guild of America Award for Original New Media. Tina has been nominated several times for her directing as well, and won the International Academy of Web TV Award for Best Directing in a Drama. Other nomination highlights include Webby and Streamy Award nominations.
During Anyone But Me hiatus, Tina directed the successful first season of the branded web series Bestsellers. A year later, Tina debuted the award winning and critically acclaimed Good People in Love, which DIGIDAY calls “…a new milestone for online video series.” Producing Juliet, Tina’s fourth series made its world premiere at the Raindance Film Festival where it received a stand out notice from The Huffington Post. Producing Juliet has gathered its own share of award nominations, including 2014 and 2015 Indie Series Award nominations for Tina’s direction and writing. And in 2015 Tina won the IAWTV Award for Writing (Drama.)
Tina is also a published comic book writer. In February of 2018, her 30 issue comic book series, Delegates, made its debut on Comixology. You can also find her first comic book series Guards of Dagmar on Comixology as well.
And in March 2016, Tina was elected Chair of the International Academy of Web TV where she headed a successful merger between the IAWTV and The Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors. She is currently an Executive Committee member of The Caucus overseeing the IAWTV division.