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#100DaysofWomeninFilm: 14/100: director Jen McGowan

By April 24, 2020May 5th, 2020100 Days of Women in Film

Jen McGowan - 100 Days of Women in Film

For day 14/100 of #100DaysofWomeninFilm I invite you to discover the work of award-winning director Jen McGowan, best known for her films Kelly & Cal (winner of the SXSW Gamechanger award) and Rust Creek.

McGowan is also the founder of Glass Elevator, a networking and skill sharing tool for professional women in film and television, with almost 4,000 members.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about the projects/work you’re most proud of?

Jen McGowan: I’m a Director based in LA who works in film and TV. I’m most proud of whatever I’m working on at the moment and unfortunately all of those things are under wraps.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I think it was a combination of being dissatisfied with my potential career as an actor and being exposed to seeing Kimberley Peirce work directing Boys Don’t Cry when I was working as a PA. Seeing her direct presented a possibility to me that I hadn’t been aware of previously.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Well I wouldn’t have had myself do anything differently so maybe, “Your path will not be what you think you want but it will be a really, really good one.

Director Jen McGowan on set

Director Jen McGowan on the set of Rust Creek, with cinematographer Michelle Lawler

Who is the woman in film who inspires you the most? Why?

I really admire the actors who are using their influence to hire women writers & directors. Margot Robbie, Viola Davis & Nicole Kidman are three who do this consistently in a way that I greatly respect and appreciate.

What are your favorite films by women directors that you’ve watched recently?

Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Sciamma was one of the best films I’ve seen in years. It was stunning.

What can we do to watch / support your work?

Please check out my films Rust Creek and Kelly & Cal on all the various digital platforms and my episode of the Twilight Zone, episode 207, airs on CBS All Access this summer.

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So far #100DaysofWomeninFilm has featured:

  • 1/100: film director Elvira Notari (Italy’s first female director)
  • 2/100: American cinematographer Kira Kelly (13thQueen SugarSelf Made)
  • 3/100: film editor Margaret Booth (the first person in the history of cinema to be named “film editor”)
  • 4/100: filmmaker Madeline Anderson (the first African American female documentarian)
  • 5/100: film critic Iris Brey (author of the book The Female Gaze)
  • 6/100: trailblazing director Ida Lupino (the first American female filmmaker to direct a film noir)
  • 7/100: film director Karyn Kusama (GirlfightThe InvitationDestroyer)
  • 8/100: documentary filmmaker Veena Rao
  • 9/100: cinematographer Sarah Thomas Moffat
  • 10/100: film director, writer & producer Leila Djansi
  • 11/100: production designer Monique Dias
  • 12/100: sound designer Cindy Takehara
  • 13/100: colorist Anastasia Shepherd


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