Eli Grier Hayes (November 6th, 1993 - May 23rd, 2020) was an independent experimental filmmaker from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He fell in love with cinema at a relatively early age upon viewing the works of directors such as James Benning and Chantal Akerman. Eli began screenwriting as he entered high school, and directed his first short films, "The Life That Follows" and "Nobody," during his senior year. While enrolled at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York -- where he received his bachelor's degree in abnormal psychology, with a minor in creative writing -- he founded Hazel Eye Productions. Eli has since directed, produced & edited more than twenty-five feature films, and approximately fifty short films. His work has been screened at over seventy festivals across six continents, including The Beijing International Short Film Festival, Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival, The Pune Short Film Festival, The Cannes International Film Festival's Court Métrage, The Princeton Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival Melbourne, and The Milwaukee Short Film Festival, as well as venues such as Anthology Film Archives and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2017, he graduated from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee with a master's degree in film & creative media, and went on to become the Project Manager at The Nashville Film Institute. He was also a long, prominent figure on the social media website, Letterboxd, where he often promoted his own work and helped spread awareness of multiple, under-seen works from other established and newcomer filmmakers. In 2019, Eli had relocated back to his home city of Milwaukee, where he was working on several different projects, both short form and feature length, before passing away on May 23rd, 2020 at the age of 26.