Hi! My name is Jessica Chriesman. I am a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Filmmaking and a BS in Psychology. In 2020, I obtained an Executive Certificate in Arts and Culture Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice and National Arts Strategies.
In my career so far, I have been able to enhance my natural talents with skills that allow me to be flexible and have hands on experiences as a director, producer, videographer, interviewer, and editor.
Since 2022, I have been the Director of Education and Outreach at Sidewalk Film Festival, leading film focused educational programing for kids and adults.
In 2021, I was honored to be chosen as part of the Morgridge Family Foundation’s second cohort of MAP Fellows. Throughout the six month fellowship I will be working with the communications team at The Jane Goodall Institute on defining and strengthening their global storytelling strategy.
During the pandemic in 2021, I directed and premiered a film commissioned by the Southern Foodways Alliance that focused on the history of Birmingham’s Greek-owned restaurants. Philoxenia has been featured in The National Herald, Southern Living, and Talk of Alabama. (See more on the Press page.) The film has screened at Sidewalk Film Festival, George Lindsay UNA Film Festival, Films for a Better Food Future, and Social Impact Film Festival.
In 2019, I was a finalist in Tribeca Film Institute’s IF/Then Pitch Competition.
I worked with Impact America for four years ending my tenure there as the Communications and Media Manager where I led a team of recent graduates in creating high-quality multimedia content that highlights the organization’s initiatives by producing video, photo, and written pieces related to our programs featuring individuals served by our programs and our own staff members across the south. This includes planning and executing content calendars and serving as a member of the development team. I also managed the Stories from the Line program where our staff members are taught to make short films showcasing their communities.
As the Video Production Director for A la Carte Alabama, I shoot and edit videos showcasing Alabama’s vast culinary landscape including interviews with local chefs, live food festivals, and locally made products.
At the Birmingham nonprofit Scrollworks I have filmed and edited recitals, video lessons, and conducted interviews with students and local bands. I have created over 170 videos for the non-profit.
During Spring 2016 I was the Teaching Assistant for the Beginning Filmmaking class at UAB.
Summer 2015 I was a Development Intern at Dirty Robber, a content creation studio, in Los Angeles. While in LA I also worked as a Production Assistant for nationwide commercials and documentaries.
During the 2014-2015 academic year, I was a Media Fellow at UAB Digital Media where I acted as a producer for our video projects. The Honors College series that I produced won a Silver ADDY award in Digital Advertising Campaign awarded by the American Advertising Federation Birmingham.
In November 2015, I was awarded the Best Music Composition prize at Artlightenment Art and Film Festival in Nashville, TN for my film Self Portrait. Additionally, since 2015 I have had the pleasure of participating in film festivals across the US including Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont.
A more in-depth look at my experience and skills can be found here.