114 Naomi McDougall Jones

Naomi’s 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. The film is now available on AmazonPrime. Naomi’s second feature film, Bite Me, is a subversive romantic comedy about a real-life vampire and the IRS agent who audits her. The film premiered at Cinequest, won Best Feature Film at VTXIFF, and then went on to the innovative, paradigm-shifting Joyful Vampire Tour of America in summer 2019, a 51-screening, 40-city, three-month, RV-fueled eventized tour that involved Joyful Vampire Balls, capes, a docu-series and a whole lot of joy. The film is now available to watch on Seed&Spark, Amazon, GooglePlay, and iTunes. She is currently at work on her third feature screenplay, Hammond Castle, a magical realism film that explores themes of identity, legacy and gender through a modern-day seven-month pregnant woman’s unexpected interaction with the brilliant, eccentric and deceased inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr., for which Naomi received the honor of being the first artist-in-residence at Ernest Hemingway’s final home in Sun Valley, Idaho. Naomi’s first book, The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood, will be published by Beacon Press on February 4, 2020 and is now available for order on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, and Beacon Press. 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. Naomi TEDTalk on these issues and what to do about them, “What it’s Like to be a Woman in Hollywood, has been viewed over a million times. 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. Naomi lives in Atlanta with her husband, Stephen.

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

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