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Jacinta

Synopsis

A deeply intimate portrait of mothers and daughters and the effects of trauma, JACINTA follows a young woman in and out of prison as she attempts to break free from an inherited cycle of addiction, incarceration, and crime.

The Filmmakers

Jessica Earnshaw Director and Producer

Jessica Earnshaw is a documentary photographer & filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work focuses on criminal justice, and healthcare. Her photography has appeared in National Geographic, The Marshall Project, Mother Jones Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, amongst others. In 2015, she received the prestigious Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation Fellowship & Grant to photograph aging in American prisons. During this project, she received unique unrestricted access in Maine State prisons. In 2016, her Aging in Prison work received an honorable mention by FotoVisura Grant, was published in National Geographic, Huffington Post and PDN Magazine and named one of the most interesting photo essays of the week by Buzzfeed. In 2017, the next chapter of her aging in prison work, centering on re-entry after a life sentence, was published in Mother Jones and The Marshall Project. In 2018, she photographed and shot video for an NPR story called “In Iowa, A Commitment To Make Prison Work Better For Women” which was apart of a special series covering discipline and women in prison, and specifically looked at gender-responsive corrections at a women’s prison in Iowa. Jessica is a graduate of the International Center of Photography's photojournalism program (New York, New York), and later worked as a junior photo editor at TIME Magazine. Prior to this, she studied documentary filmmaking at The Gulf Islands Film & Television School (British Columbia, Canada), and Film Production at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). jessicaearnshaw.com

Holly Meehl Producer

Holly Meehl is a creative producer who guides films from original inception through distribution. For the past six years she’s produced award-winning narrative and documentary features and short films through her company, Lunamax Films. Holly found her passion for producing while working at Salty Features under director/producer Yael Melamede. She became a co-producer on Melamede's documentary feature (DIS)HONESTY: THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES which was broadcast on CNBC in 2015. In the same year, Holly launched Lunamax Films and began producing the feature documentary FOR THE BIRDS (directed by Richard Miron) as well as the romantic comedy IN REALITY (directed by Ann Lupo). In 2019 both films were released to critical acclaim. FOR THE BIRDS was noted as a Critic’s Pick in the New York Times and nominated for a Critic’s Choice Documentary Award and is now streaming on Netflix. IN REALITY won 11 awards on the festival circuit including Special Mention in U.S. Fiction at LA Film Festival and is now streaming on Amazon Prime. Holly and Lunamax's third produced feature is a documentary called JACINTA (directed by Jessica Earnshaw). Holly is currently co-producing a feature documentary with Oak Street Pictures about culinary mastermind Chef Charlie Trotter (directed by Rebecca Halpern). Last year Holly was selected for the Women in Film Mentorship program as a mentee in the Creative Producing Circle. Lunamaxfilms.com

Nimisha Mukerji Producer

Filmmaker Nimisha Mukerji’s award-winning work spans features, shorts and episodic television. Her debut film 65_RedRoses, a portrait of a young woman on the transplant list, was hailed by the New York Times as "Illuminating...an affecting, unnerving portrait of one family's encounter with the harshest of realities". It was selected by Oprah Winfrey for her Documentary Club on OWN, helped raise over 3 million dollars for Cystic Fibrosis research and went on to be acquired by Netflix and Hulu. Her follow up feature Blood Relative, about a non profit worker helping Mumbai's Thalassemic children, premiered at Hot Docs International Film Festival and went on to win audience awards in Paris, Vancouver and New York. Her third feature about burlesque dancerTempest Storm was released theatrically by Mongrel Media and broadcast internationally. Jacinta is her fourth feature documentary, and in addition to her nonfiction work Nimisha continues to explore issues surrounding economic disparity, education and gender inequality in her narrative projects. She co-wrote and produced the narrative short Beauty Mark which was selected by Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent Program for Cannes, and she has also written and produced segments for HBO/PBS's Sesame Street. Her directing work for television can be found on Disney, Lifetime and Nat Geo. She is an alumni of TIFF's Talent Lab and splits her time between Vancouver and LA. She is represented by the Kaplan Stahler Agency. www.nimishamukerji.com

Updates

JACINTA honored by the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival!

4/30/20
JACINTA wins Tribeca's Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director. Congratulations to director Jessica Earnshaw on this incredible honor! See the full list of winners here: https://variety.com/2020/film/news/tribeca-film-festival-winners-steve-zahn-the-half-of-it-1234593660/

THE LATEST FROM @jacintafilm ON TWITTER

So excited to announce that @jacintafilm will have its international premiere @zurichfilmfest Sept 24th - Oct 4th.… https://t.co/YLZxNlbxLM

September 11, 2020

Thank you @WomanAroundTown & @paulamlevine for the great review! “Overflowing with emotion and depth.” https://t.co/RRL5qf1bOC

June 6, 2020

Thank you @THR and Jordan Mintzer for the incredible review! "A searingly honest portrait of kinship and addiction… https://t.co/50cWdGQs5I

May 7, 2020

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Festivals & Awards

Tribeca Film Festival

2020
An astonishing record of the hereditary nature of trauma, Jacinta follows the lives of three generations of women struggling to find stability amid years of dependency. Jacinta leaves the Maine Correctional Center, leaving her mother behind to complete her own sentence, and attempts to rebuild her relationship with Caylynn, her preternaturally wise pre-teen daughter who craves time and attention from the mother she adores. But as the pressures of shaping a life in a world she has hardly known sober proves increasingly challenging, she brings the viewer into her emotional, day-to-day battle to find peace with herself and earn the trust of her family. In Jessica Earnshaw’s devastatingly insightful film—her first—we’re not only given a window into the effects of Jacinta’s addiction but, most importantly, its root causes. Earnshaw remains embedded with her subject, often in precarious conditions, committed to documenting the roller-coaster journey of a promising woman repeatedly knocked down by her past. Jacinta’s harrowing experience and her child’s emotionally astute and profound reaction to years of disappointment combine to create a tragic but hopeful tale of love and American life. —Liza Domnitz

+ Festival Website

Reviews

Remarkably engrossing ... A snapshot of relapse, recidivism and remorse in a dead-end mill town in Maine [and] a portrait of a young woman trying to be a better mother than the mother she worships.”

-Jessica Kiang, Variety

Overflowing with humanity ... JACINTA is never an easy watch, but it’s an important one. Earnshaw has made a deeply emotional and poignant film on the personal, familial horrors of addiction.”

-Christian Gallichio, The Playlist

[A] deeply moving portrait ... A must-see.”

-Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

[Earnshaw’s] filmmaking is direct, honest, and compassionate, and her debut film portends more great things ahead for her.”

-Bradley Gibson, Film Threat