Extra – Naomi McDougall Jones

Naomi (writer, actress and producer) shares powerful life experiences. Her first film didn’t give her the validation and acceptance that she sought. Naomi felt crushed. So for her second film, she set out to be accepted by the “System” and chose to play by their rules. Naomi encountered very powerful ‘gatekeepers’ that feel they define the success and happiness of film makers, such as herself. Once she realized that she had been empowered all along, she took a refreshingly different approach. Naomi recentered with her own value system and courageously decided to distribute her film herself. She rented an RV and embarked on her “Joyful Vampire Tour of America”, which provides screenings, Q&A with the film makers and ends with a fun ball. Naomi looks forward to connect with her end consumers and independent cinema owners. She shares these powerful nuggets of life wisdom:
– your acceptance, validation and happiness is measured by your values, not those of others
– do not chase external recognitions that are, in reality, meaningless
– get centered with your values, what is truly important to you and go after it
– sometimes you just need to challenge the norm
– learn by doing
– listen to your gut

Naomi McDougall Jones is an award-winning actress, writer, producer, and women in film activist.  She grew up in Aspen, Colorado and attended Cornell University before graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA).  Naomi wrote, produced, and starred in the 2014 indie feature film, Imagine I’m Beautiful, which took home 12 awards on the film festival circuit including 4 Best Pictures and, for Naomi, 3 Best Actress Awards and The Don Award for Best Independently Produced Screenplay of 2014. The film was named as #8 of OscarWorld’s Top 10 Films of 2014 and was distributed theatrically and digitally by Candy Factory Films.  Naomi’s second feature film, Bite Me, is a subversive romantic comedy about a real-life vampire and the IRS agent who audits her. Following their 2019 Cinequest premiere, the team is pioneering an innovative distribution model in the form of a 40+ city, 3-month, RV-fueled, Joyful Vampire Tour of America, May 6-August 4, 2019. To catch a screening (and Vampire Ball), watch the film, and/or find out more about their distribution model visit www.bitemethefilm.com.  A pilot she wrote, The Dark Pieces, was named on the 2016 WriteHer List as one of the top 16 unproduced pilots by a female screenwriter and is now in development for Canadian TV.  She was a writer for season 1 of Amazon’s original series, The New Yorker Presents, based on the world’s most award-winning magazine, which premiered at Sundance 2016, for which she wrote the teleplay adaptation of Miranda July’s short story Roy Spivey.  Naomi has been a vocal advocate for bringing gender parity to film, both on and off screen. She has spoken at film festivals and conferences around the world and written extensively on this subject. In November 2016, Naomi gave a TEDTalk, The Women in Film Revolution Begins With You.  She has teamed up with former CFO of the City of Chicago, Lois Scott, to found The 51 Fund, a VC investment fund that will finance films written, directed, and produced by women.  She is currently at work on a book, The Wrong Kind of Woman: Dismantling the God of Hollywood, which is to be published by Beacon Press in February 2020.  She hosts the podcast Fear(ful)less: Filmmaking From the Edge, a monthly window into the successes, failures, and conversations of an independent filmmaker, which is available on iTunes and GooglePlay.  Naomi lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, Stephen.

TEDTalk: go.ted.com/naomimcdougalljones
Podcast: Fear(ful)less: Filmmaking From the Edge

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