After the Jump: Jessica Oreck

by Grace Bonney

I’ve felt incredibly lucky to record the last few radio shows I’ve scheduled. Not just because I enjoy talking to people one-on-one, but because the last few guests I’ve had have had such incredible stories behind their artwork and the work they create. And this week’s guest was no exception.

I first met filmmaker Jessica Oreck through Amy. She and Amy have known each other and worked together on projects and I was always fascinated to hear about Jessica’s world traveling and films about Japanese beetles, language and Arctic Cowboys. So when we finally got to sit down and talk last week, I asked her a million questions, each of which she answered with such focus and clarity that it made me appreciate film making in a whole new way. Much like the visual artists we work with here on a daily basis, Jessica is someone driven by such a strong singular vision- and mission- that each of her films is able to not only transport you into a new world and fascinating story, but it’s able to show you exactly how Jessica sees it. Her point of view is so unique and so interesting to me, and I am 100% sure it will be the same for you.

Her latest film, Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews. To make it, Jessica lived in remote Finnish Lapland for a year to document the lives of a single family of reindeer herders. It was a fascinating look at a people that most of us will rarely get to see or know, and it was visually breathtaking. Jessica has several projects up her sleeves at all time (her latest starts this week as she documents working men across America– you can even submit a suggestion here!) so I hope you’ll enjoy hearing about her process, the realities of producing independent films and the way the natural world and science inspire such artistic films. xo, grace

“To me, I create because I want to create… I try not to think about the audience when I make the film. I am confident that if the audience puts forth a little bit of effort and is attentive, they will connect with the film.”
-Jessica Oreck on After the Jump

LISTEN: You can download the podcast on iTunes here, or stream it here on Heritage Radio.

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