Director Biography – Jen McGowan (ON THE RIDE)

Jen McGowan is a director based in Los Angeles. Her most recent feature film, the survival thriller, RUST CREEK, was released in theaters January 2019 by IFC Midnight, hailed as “the feminist horror Hollywood needs right now” and listed in Forbes Top 20 Films of 2019.

McGowan’s first feature KELLY & CAL (Juliette Lewis & Cybill Shepherd) premiered at SXSW where she won the Gamechanger Award. The film was released theatrically by IFC Films to rave reviews. She got her start with award-winning short films, CONFESSIONS OF A LATE BLOOMER and TOUCH, which played at over a hundred festivals worldwide winning the majority.

Co-created with her partner Eliza Lee, their TV series ANGELICA is being produced by Shaun Reddick (GET OUT, BLACKkKLANSMAN) and Yvette Yates of Impossible Dream Entertainment.

In partnership with Level Forward, she is the creator of Glass Elevator (, an international skill-sharing, networking & jobs resource for professional women in film & television. With over 3,000 members, Glass Elevator was named Best in LA by LA Weekly, is part of the Sundance Women’s Initiative Resource and was featured in Forbes.

Take the Lead Foundation identified McGowan one of 50 Women Who Will Change the World in Media & Entertainment and WeForShe selected her for the 2019 DirectHer program. A Film Independent Fellow, finalist for the Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award, recipient of the AWD Breakout Award for Excellence in Directing she was named one of Vulture’s Women Directors Hollywood Should Be Hiring.

Director Statement

ON THE RIDE drew me in with a simple story, a strong heartbeat and a much needed expression of a deep connection between strangers. Our story is of the journey of a man who learns to let go of his past and embrace his uncertain present and future. In a time when fear of others is at a frightening high, this simple story of connection is powerfully emotional.


By lgbttorontofilmfestival

Festival occurring twice a year. In Toronto in June. And in Los Angeles in September. Showcasing the best of LGBT Short Films and Screenplays from around the world.

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