About Jessica Sanders - DIRECTOR / WRITER / PRODUCER
Jessica Sanders is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and award-winning commercial director. Jessica was honored at the prestigious Shots Young Director Awards in Cannes for her Sony "Make Believe" film, which also won an AICP award. She recently directed Apple's national iPad launch spot, and campaigns for Toyota, Procter & Gamble and the American Express Plum Card, which was featured during the Superbowl. Jessica was also featured in Shoot's New Directors Showcase and was a First Board Awards Finalist.
Jessica directed, produced and wrote AFTER INNOCENCE, a feature documentary film that tells the compelling story of innocent men wrongfully convicted, cleared by DNA evidence and their dramatic struggle to reenter society after spending decades in prison. The film premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Prize, and also won top awards at the Seattle Film Festival, Boston Independent Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, and Full Frame Documentary Festival. The film was released theatrically by New Yorker Films before being broadcast on Showtime. AFTER INNOCENCE was shortlisted for the 78th Academy Awards.
Jessica recently completed MARCH OF THE LIVING, a feature documentary about the last generation of Holocaust survivors going back to the sites of the Holocaust in Poland with teenagers from around the world. The film was shot in Brazil, Germany, Poland, Israel and the US, and will be released in 2010. Jessica is currently in post-production on a short documentary film for the US Army called THE CULTURE PROJECT, about the Army's shift in training soldiers in culture awareness.
Jessica produced the film SING!, which was nominated in 2002 for an Oscar for Best Short Documentary. SING! is about a community children's chorus, which amidst severe cutbacks in the arts, becomes one of the best choirs in the country. The film played theatrically and aired on PBS. Her previous film, LOS ANGELS, a narrative short film that she wrote, produced, and directed played at numerous festivals and received top awards at the Chicago International and New Orleans Film Festivals. LOS ANGELS tells the story of a young girl born with an unusual birthmark on her stomach in the likeness of the Great Wall of China. Jessica was an Associate Producer on the 2003 Academy Award-winning documentary short film TWIN TOWERS, about the September11 attacks, and was Series Associate Producer, Field Producer and Camera Operator on Dick Wolf's CRIME & PUNISHMENT, the NBC documentary series featuring the district attorneys of San Diego prosecuting criminal trials.
Jessica filmed Al Gore in Nashville for THE CLIMATE PROJECT, a work in progress documentary for Producer Lawrence Bender and Paramount Vantage. Jessica filmed Gore teaching his famed Global Warming lecture to committed citizens who will teach about the climate crisis in their communities across the country. Jessica also worked on MY NAME IS BORAT, on the making of the BORAT film and the revolutionary scripted/documentary hybrid technique created by Sacha Baron Cohen and the filmmaking team. Jessica directed the pilot for Good Magazine's on-line series GOOD SEX about sex and relationships.
Jessica directed GEORGE & BRAD IN BED, a short documentary profiling the relationship between actor George Takei (Star Trek's Captain Sulu) and his husband and lifelong partner Brad Altman. The two recently legally married after being together for 21 years. Jessica also directed SING OPERA!, a follow up to her Oscar Nominated film Sing! featuring the Los Angeles Children's Chorus in a new opera, which won Best Short Documentary film at the 2009 International Children's Film Festival. Jessica is also developing SAMBA, a feature documentary film following Rio de Janeiro's top Samba Schools competing in Carnaval and the drug trafficking gangs that govern their communities. The film is Executive Produced by Lawrence Bender (PULP FICTION, RESERVOIR DOGS, INCONVENIENT TRUTH).
Jessica and her work have been profiled on The Sundance Channel, MTV, MSNBC, CNN, Larry King Live, Dateline, Fox News, Court TV and NPR. She has been profiled in The New York Times, LA Weekly, Giant Robot Magazine, and Film Festival Magazine. She has lectured at various universities and conferences, including the National Innocence Network Conference, Tribeca Film Festival and Los Angeles Film Festival, and the California State Senate.
Jessica majored in Film Studies and English at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and graduated with honors. Sanders is an alumna of the Film Independent's Producers & Screenwriters Lab and Tribeca Film Festival's All Access Program. Jessica directs commercials for Sanctuary Content and is a DGA and WGA member.