Academy Award-nominated director Jessica Sanders debuts her first scripted comedy with the idiosyncratically charming short film Bunion. Following a successful film festival run (Austin, Napa, Santa Barbara, Brooklyn, and Cleveland Film Festivals), and a premiere at LACMA’s Young Director Series, Bunion was selected to screen as part of Refinery29’s immersive Drive In Cinema Series for 2015 New York Fashion Week. Refinery29 will also exclusively premiere the short online Monday, September 14 for wider audiences.
Bunion features Avi Rothman as David, the unfortunate soul pained by the film’s wonderously icky titular condition along with Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) and Michaela Watkins (SNL, Trophy Wife). Inspired by writer/actor Rothman’s actual bunion, the film explores the comedy found in the insecurities and imperfections we find in ourselves and others. From paramours to podiatrists to therapists, David’s unsightly predicament inspires varying degrees of distaste before he lands on the road to self-acceptance.
Jessica Sanders is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and commercial director. Her presence in the advertising world has been cemented with successful campaigns for Apple, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, American Express and more. She was featured in Shoot’s New Directors Showcase, was a First Board Awards Finalist, and was honored at the prestigious Shots Young Director Awards in Cannes for her Sony “Make Believe” film, which also won an AICP award.
Her documentary work includes the feature “After Innocence” which profiles innocent prisoners exonerated by DNA evidence after years of incarceration and “March of The Living” which details the lives and legacy of the last generation of Holocaust survivors. She was nominated for an Oscar for her work as producer on “Sing,” a documentary short that follows a community children’s chorus as it battles massive budget cuts in the arts.
Her latest narrative feature film “Picking Cotton” was awarded the Sloan Foundation grant at the Tribeca Film Festival. Based on The New York Times Best-selling book by Erin Torneo, “Picking Cotton” is the true story of rape survivor Jennifer Thomson and Ronald Cotton, the man she had wrongly identified as her rapist. After 11 years in prison, Cotton was cleared through DNA evidence, and the two currently work together as friends and activists to improve the criminal justice system. The film is set for production in early 2016.
Jessica Sanders is represented by United Talent Agency for feature films and television, and Bob Industries for commercial work.