TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – On May 21, Chris Chaei Washington and Alexz Adriyel won a Gold People’s Telly for Best Student Film for their short film, “ONLY ONE NIGHT THO.” The film is the first of three web films, titled “The ONLY Series.” 

Chris Chaei

“I learned a lot making The ONLY Series,” said Washington, “and I’m honored to compete as a finalist in the Telly Awards. It’s a major confidence boost, knowing that my work is being seen and recognized by a national awards show.” 

The film, written, directed and scored by Washington, is a semi-autobiographical drama about a student trying to navigate college and relationships. The story follows Drew (Washington) as he dates Tyra (Trinity Jenkins) and learns a dark secret about her. 

Watch the film here:

Washington cites directors Jordan Peele and Ryan Coogler among his biggest creative influences. He said, “I’m inspired by Black voices in cinema. People like [Peele and Coogler] show me that there is a place for people like me in film, and I want to carry that forward.” 


Producers: Chris Chaei Washington, Alexz Adriyel 
Director: Chris Chaei Washington 
Writer: Chris Chaei Washington 
Editor: Chris Chaei Washington 
Original Score: Chris Chaei Washington 
Actors (in order of appearance): Chris Chaei Washington, Trinity Jenkins, Alexz Adriyel 
Camera/Lighting Assistants: Jimmie Thompson, Braylon Heavans, Evan Venezuela, Alexz Adriyel, Grant Sturdivant 

Alexz Adriyel

Washington and Adriyel are upcoming sophomores majoring in creative media and communication studies, respectively, in the College of Communication & Information Sciences. Washington was his high school’s valedictorian and is a recipient of the 2023 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Scholarship. Adriyel is a sports intern with Crimson Tide Productions and a member of UA’s BRIDGE program. 

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, The Telly Awards receives over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Entrants are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council—an industry body of over 200 leading experts including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks, reflective of the multi-screen industry The Telly Awards celebrates. Other 2024 winners include Adobe, Sesame Workshop, the Sacramento Kings and Nasa Television.