How does it feel to be free? Best friends Kay and Jenna are reuniting after being separated by prison. But reigniting what they had before isn’t straightforward.
Written and directed by Nia Childs, produced by Jessi and casted in partnership with Clean Break, who work with actors with lived experience of the criminal justice system. A drama shot on 16mm and a global film festival release planned for 2022-2023.
Three Canvey Islanders try to prevent a major disaster from destroying their home. Playing with fiction, time and trauma, this hybrid documentary imagines their dystopian future.
A Doc Society/Made of Truth commission and co-production with Beehive Films. The documentary takes an experimental hybrid form and is the result of a three year journalistic investigation into the story by Jessi - who also wrote and directed the film. It had its World Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2022, playing in competition for the McLaren Award for Best Short Film.
A disabled queer woman goes back to her hometown for the funeral of a close friend, having moved away and started a family. Feeling discarded, her explosive best friend accuses her of abandoning them. A bold confession has the power to change the course of their friendship.
Written and directed by Ella Glendining, produced by Jessi and commissioned by the BFI Network Short Film Fund. A comedy-drama which had its World Premiere at BFI Flare in 2022.
A tale of grief and hope as an ex-filmmaker grapples with sight loss and learning to interpret the world through sound.
In 2021 Aesthetica and Audible announced The Listening Pitch. A single short film commission with a brief for stories that demonstrate how listening gives us different points of view and ideas. Audio had to be central to the narrative. Jessi and her mum Liz Jackson won the commission with their co-directed project Blind as a Beat. They have experimented with voiceover that acts as audio description for visually impaired audiences, as a way of developing more creative accessibility. The film will have its world premiere as part of a special event at Aesthetica Short Film Festival in November 2021.
The pandemic crawls on and Aisha shields in her flat. Doorstep visits mark the passing weeks as she struggles with what it means to live her last few weeks of life during lockdown.
In 2019, the Uncertain Kingdom was born - a commission of 20 films to be released in 2020 that reflected on what Britain meant today. The pandemic halted the cinema release but the commissioners decided to commission a 21st film that offered a unique perspective on the pandemic. Jessi and Molly Manning Walker (co-writer and director) wrote The Forgotten C, based on Jessi’s personal experience of shielding during lockdown with incurable cancer. It won the commission and had an extremely successful online release, partnering with Maggie’s cancer charity. It was later nominated for the BIFA Best British Short Award in 2020, and has since screened at various film festivals such as the BFI’s Woman with A Movie Camera summit and Brainchild. The Forgotten C was acquired by the Wellcome Trust in 2022.
Every weekend through the winter, a group of middle-aged men, who dub themselves the East German Ladies Swimming Team, plunge into the freezing waters of a pond in central London. 'The Home for Broken Toys' follows the team through one season to explore their motivations for braving the extreme cold each week, a decision which seems alien to the filmmaker. The reasons she discovers are by turns comedic, poignant, and profound.
An ethnographic documentary which delves into themes of masculinity, vulnerability and mental health. Directed and produced by Holly, it was developed as part of UCL’s Open City Documentary Masters programme and executive produced by Richard Alwyn. Multi-festival award winner including People’s Choice at Kendal Mountain Festival 2019 (attended by 20k people) and Best Cinematography at Southampton International Film Festival 2019. Screened in UK, Ireland, USA, Egypt, Pakistan and China festivals, and in UK and China cinema tours.
Screenable as part of the Kendal Mountain Festival Swim and Dive series.