Jessica is a writer and filmmaker with a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. She works professionally in feature film, with credits featuring Robert Redford, Gerard Butler and Bruce Willis. Jessica’s directorial work includes several published plays as well as original work, and writing and directing credits on several short films. She has been honored by the Director’s Guild of America with a Jury Award for her 2014 original short film, STEEL. She is very excited to be sharing the story of CHRISTINE with you today – and she would like to thank her awesome partners, Kate Montgomery and Stephanie Serra.
Children today are growing up in a polarizing environment. On one hand, our society has started to embrace those who do not adhere to “gender norms” or preordained sexual orientations. Thus, children have been granted newfound freedom to explore, to identify as they will. On the other hand, there are many people who are fighting against this—fearing what is different or untraditional. Today, children who dare to be different are often met with discrimination and bullying. Society tells them there is one way to look, one way to act, one way to be.
“Christine” tells the story of a young girl’s effort to define herself in one such unaccepting environment. The ignorance and prejudice she outwardly faces results in an inward struggle to define herself, and ultimately, to accept herself. There is a learning curve woven into this piece—it was important for us to paint an image of children trying different ways to conform to what they believes is the “right way” of being, only to stumble, get up and try again—until they find what works best for themselves as individuals.
It was not our intention for “Christine” to represent any one “type” of person, but rather to tell an individual’s story—in the hope that it might touch each person differently. Christine is all of us, in one way or another, and Christine is entirely herself.