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Jessie Nelson

Jessie Nelson

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I Am Sam DVD Love, laughter, and tears mark a mentally-challenged father's custody battle in... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: director, screenwriter, actor, producer, 2nd unit director, waitress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

New York theater performer made her Hollywood feature debut as the producer, writer, and director of "Corrina, Corrina" (1994), a warm family comedy-drama set in the American South in the late 1950s. Nelson began as an actress performing with the acclaimed experimental theater group Mabou Mines. She went on to work with Raul Julia in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of "The Tempest" in Central Park as well as appearing in various NY productions before moving to L.A. Eventually growing frustrated with the paucity of worthwhile female roles, Nelson turned to screenwriting with her partner Stephen Tolkin. Finding that her control over her work was still limited, she decided to become a director. Nelson helmed a nonfiction film, "My First Time", which brought her to the attention of Chanticleer Films' Discovery Program, a non-profit organization which helped industry professionals direct short fiction films. She wrote and directed "To the Moon Alice" (1990), a fantasy-tinged drama about a homeless family that takes nightly refuge on the empty set of a TV sitcom. Broadcast on cable as a "Showtime 30-Minute Movie", this paved the way to "Corrina, Corrina".After working on the screenplays to...

New York theater performer made her Hollywood feature debut as the producer, writer, and director of "Corrina, Corrina" (1994), a warm family comedy-drama set in the American South in the late 1950s. Nelson began as an actress performing with the acclaimed experimental theater group Mabou Mines. She went on to work with Raul Julia in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of "The Tempest" in Central Park as well as appearing in various NY productions before moving to L.A. Eventually growing frustrated with the paucity of worthwhile female roles, Nelson turned to screenwriting with her partner Stephen Tolkin. Finding that her control over her work was still limited, she decided to become a director.

Nelson helmed a nonfiction film, "My First Time", which brought her to the attention of Chanticleer Films' Discovery Program, a non-profit organization which helped industry professionals direct short fiction films. She wrote and directed "To the Moon Alice" (1990), a fantasy-tinged drama about a homeless family that takes nightly refuge on the empty set of a TV sitcom. Broadcast on cable as a "Showtime 30-Minute Movie", this paved the way to "Corrina, Corrina".

After working on the screenplays to "Stepmom" (1998) and "The Story of Us" (1999), Nelson wrote, produced and directed "I Am Sam" (2001), a slightly treacly tale of a mentally-challenged man seeking custody of his young daughter. The film was most notable for bringing star Sean Penn his third Best Actor Oscar nomination.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  I Am Sam (2001) Director
2.
  Corrina, Corrina (1994) Director
4.
  Price of Life, The (1991) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)
5.
  To the Moon, Alice (1990) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Story of Us, The (1999) Realtor
2.
3.
 Switch, The (1992) Elizabeth Garland
4.
 Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) Woman On Steps
6.
 Hogg's Heaven (1992) William'S Sister
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Milestones close milestones

:
Worked nine years as a waitress in NYC
:
Acted with the experimental theater company Mabou Mines
:
Moved to L.A.
:
Began writing screenplays with Stephen Tolkin
1987:
TV debut, co-wrote (with Tolkin) teleplay for "Daniel and the Towers," a PBS WonderWorks presentation
:
Directed a documentary entitled "My First Time"
:
Accepted into the prestigious AFI Chanticleer program
1990:
Helmed the award-winning short, "To The Moon Alice," which aired on cable as a Showtime 30-Minute Movie
1991:
Worked as 2nd unit director on the Tolkin directed "The Price of Life," part of <i>Triple Play II</i> an installment of PBS's "American Playhouse"
1994:
Feature debut as producer, screenwriter, and director, "Corrina, Corrina"
1998:
Co-wrote the Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts drama, "Stepmom"
1999:
Co-wrote the Rob Reiner directed, "The Story of Us"
2001:
Co-wrote and directed "Sam I Am" starring Sean Penn as a mentally retarded fighting for custody of his 7-year-old daughter
2007:
Co-wrote the comedy "Because I Said So" starring Diane Keaton
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Education

University of California, Santa Cruz: Santa Cruz , California -

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Bryan Gordon. Filmmaker.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Molly June Gordon. Born c. 1996.

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