Jessica is the Director of Education + Outreach and plans events for filmmakers and film lovers alike in her role at Sidewalk. As a film student at UAB she attended many Sidewalk Salons and other educational programs. After returning from her internship with Oscar-winning production company Dirty Robber, she had the honor of screening her student film in the 2016 Sidewalk Film Festival. Since then Jessica has screened her short documentaries across the United States and internationally. Her award winning documentary, Philoxenia, screened in the 2021 Sidewalk Film Festival. As a filmmaker and storyteller, she has had the pleasure of collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute, Alabama Public Television, Southern Foodways Alliance, Vox Media and more. She loves offbeat comedies, documentaries that explore hidden histories, stories that highlight food and culture, whodunits, and heist movies. Thanks to TCM always being on in the background growing up, she has a deep appreciation for older films as well as new media.
“I saw Get Out for the first time with friends at the Coyote Drive In in Leeds where it was part of a double feature with The Great Wall (Remember? The movie where Matt Damon saves China? Me neither.) and I immediately knew I needed to see it again. Certainly one of the best films of the 2010s, Get Out explores themes of race and society through the mind of Jordan Peele. The winner of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, this film pulled together themes from bonafide classics like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and The Stepford Wives and put a name to the Social Thriller genre. Get Out has left its mark on the culture by introducing the term ‘sunken place’ and gave imagery through metaphor to the post-Obama era through a lens that subverts themes of societal value, privilege, entitlement and isolation. This film has also laid the foundation for reviving the black thriller genre, most recently exemplified in the Netflix film They Cloned Tyrone by Tuskegee native Juel Taylor. I love movies that engage your brain and force you to make connections as you’re watching and Get Out succeeds in that which is part of what makes it so rewatchable. (Plus a fun fact – Get Out has Alabama ties, it was shot in Fairhope!)”
Get Out is playing at the Sidewalk Cinema August 12 + 13. Get tickets here.