A nomad who calls New York home, Jess directed, wrote, and edited “Gray Ground,” the 2019 Winning Webseries at Harlem International Film Festival. She is currently a finalist in the Seriesfest Director Mentorship in partnership with Shondaland. In 2018 she directed the LGBTQ webseries, “@datingZoe,” which exclusively released with GO-MAG, receiving a festival run and half a million views. She spent the remainder of 2018 on grant in Paris, writing her debut feature — but that only covers the last two years. Jess’ debut short screened at the New York International Film Festival. Additionally, her work has screened at the SoHo House and on Amazon. Currently her production company, NYLA Films, is in development on a new short series for a network streaming app. Jess is in the process of pitching her feature and two more pilots.
As a previous member of the Cinematographer’s Guild, Jess’ love for camera is inherent in her work. You can find her calling out lens sizes on set. From the camera department, she observed creators like Spike Lee and Tina Fey. She parted with ICG to focus on telling her owns stories. Additionally stops on Jess’ storytelling path include training with Director, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, on CBS’s “Madam Secretary,” and editing for NBC. She continues to edit her own projects.
Perhaps Jess’ intro to storytelling was at age 8, when she would direct and live score family productions from behind the piano. Jess went on to receive a B.A. from Virginia Tech. She sits on the 87th Street Park and Garden Committee, enjoys globe-trotting with her partner, playing the piano, and black & white film photography.