Beginning the new year with a bang! 2018 started with a packed house of friends and family at Chicago's renowned blues club Rosa's Lounge for a work in progress screening of my latest film I CAN ONLY BE MARY LANE. The night was topped off with a personal performance by Mary Lane and the No Static Blues Blues Band! Thank you everyone for coming, giving invaluable input and joining the the Mary Lane Family!!!
I wrote an essay for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts' Review about the making of EMERALD ICE and the importance of paying homage to past generations of women artists.
Short Excerpt from "Encountering Diane Wakoski: The making of Emerald Ice"
"The film is inherently about the audience/reader because they are hopefully building their own relationship with Wakoski and have a unique reaction to her words. This extends Wakoski’s sentiment about the reader’s irreplaceable role reading poetry to consuming media. Wakoski has never considered herself a political poet, but I think that these sentiments have real significance in today’s political climate, which is why remembering to read these intelligent female poets is so crucial during contemporary time. To take these ideas about poetry one step further, we can start to consider our roles as readers and consumers of media in the midst of a crucial time in the US and world where great uncertainty can cause fear, distrust and division."
DARK MATTER(S) Won 1st Place (international category) at the 2017 SSFX Short Film Festival. Check out the amazing trailer for the Festival here!
Earlier this month, Women Write About Comics reviewed the films in the SSFX Short Film Festival. Zainabb Hull writes on DARK MATTER(S): " In Dark Matter(s), I was reminded of my humanity through my fragility. In both the deep ocean and in space, I wouldn’t be able to survive longer than a few minutes. The space sounds in these films evoke something existential that make us look inwards. We’re reminded of our bodies, our selves, our ability to imagine, and our capacity to ask questions. " Wow, thank you Zainabb! For full review click here.
I was interviewed about Diane Wakoski and Emerald Ice by Kathleen Kirk from the Escape into Life art journal. She also wrote a very thoughtful review of Emerald Ice, which was picked up by The Poetry Foundation!
Here is a snippet of the review: To quote one of Wakoski’s poems, “You must use / your imagination / for this film” and Simmons certainly did! The film opens with a poem excerpt using the phrase “emerald ice” and then offers marvelous images drawn from the poems and evocative in themselves: an orange and an orange grove, snowflakes morphing into bits of fire, a cliff at the ocean’s edge, motorcycles, tall grasses, a burning piano, and then a beautiful interior filled with glass.
I had the pleasure of DPing a short fiction piece for my dear friend Diana. May, 2017 marks the wrap of the short PRIEST TO PRIEST dir. by Diana Losen.
Emerald Ice is making its way around the festival circuit. Highlights include winning best experimental short at Big Muddy Film Festival! For a full schedule of future screenings visit: https://www.emeraldicethefilm.com/screenings
The Storm Downstream hits the big screen for Canada's 2017 WATER DOCS.
Jesseca returns to Mankato, MN for the 5th annual Speechless Film Festival and was on the Filmmaker Panel. She gave a 20 minute talk on Experimental Storytelling Techniques.
Jesseca was interviewed by Chicago's FACETS as a part of their 2017 Resident Video series. Check out the interview here.
The Storm Downstream played in late November as an official selection at GREEN FEST in Belgrade, Serbia.
Jesseca was announced as an ASC 2016 Vilmos Zsigmond Student Heritage Award finalist for her cinematography work in Emerald Ice.
Emerald Ice was successfully funded on Kickstarter! A huge thank you from Jesse and the Emerald Ice team for all of your support!!!! WE DID IT!
The Storm Downstream has been chosen as a 2016 Official Selection for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and will go on a screening tour with a variety of wonderful environmental films.
As of October 2015, Particles has been screened at the Speechless Film Festival (Mankato, Minnesota) and the Dirigo Film Festival (Bristol, UK), and the American University in Bulgaria International Film Festival and the World Arts Film Festival (Jacksonville, Florida), The 2nd Annual Stained Glass Invitational Exhibition (Chicago, Illinois).
The Southern Exposure Film Tour begins September 2015! Jesseca's film The Storm Downstream will tour all over the state of Alabama.
Jesseca Simmons has been named a Southern Exposure Fellow by the Southern Environmental Law Center. Now in its fourth year, Southern Exposure provides a positive and challenging learning experience to exceptional film students and emerging filmmakers seeking to explore and develop their own voices as environmental advocates through nonfiction storytelling. This innovative summer fellowship equips students with the skills, equipment, content knowledge and contacts to create authentic, engaging films intended to raise public awareness about important issues facing Alabama’s environment, from the mountains to the coast.
Jesseca's co-directed film Particles is an Official Selection for the 2015 Speechless Film Festival, where she also spoke on the filmmaker panel. Click here to watch.