Jen McGowan is the kind of woman that inspires others, no matter how you look at her career. She not only has written and directed her own short films, and now moved to feature films, she also has developed a TV show we absolutely need to see – Angelica, about the last remaining abortion clinic in a small Midwest town. But Jen has stopped with her own success, no. Jen, is the founder of Glass Elevator, an international, skill-sharing, networking & jobs resources for professional women in film and television, an attempt to put women in contact with women, so they can hire each other, and keep pushing forward.
All of this is why today we’re making making Jen one of our Friday filmmaker profiles.
1. Jen is the founder of Glass Elevator
As mentioned before, Glass Elevator is an international skill-sharing, networking & jobs resource for professional women in film and television. Because the thing is, often, women would like to hire other women, but do they know the right women to hire?
The answer is likely no. And so Jen created this free, membership-based international community of over 3,000 vetted women, designed to increase the skills and strengthen the contacts and relationships between members, all in an effort to reach gender parity in the film and TV industries.
2. Jen was named one of 50 Women Who Will Change the World in Media & Entertainment
The Take the Lead Foundation bestowed Jen with this honor not just for her work as a writer and filmmaker, but for her consistent commitment to changing an industry that has, for so long, been male led, and for her commitment to inclusion and change in all aspects of the business.
And hey, it’s one thing to feel like you’ve made a change, it’s another one for you to be recognized as someone who can, and who has made changes, and will continue to.
3. Jen’s won numerous awards
Which, yes, I will list here, because so often, as women, we tend to downplay our achievements, and when you’ve been recognized as much as Jen has, you really, really shouldn’t.
- SXSW Gamechanger Award.
- Her narrative short, Touch, won the Florida Film Festival Grand Jury Award for Best Short and the San Diego Film Festival Best Short Film Award.
- Boulder International Film FestivalBest New Filmmaker Award
- The Caucus Foundation for Television Producers, Writers and Directors Grant
- Alliance of Women Directors Breakout Star Award for Excellence in Directing.
- Film Independent Fellow,
- Finalist for the Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award, recipient of the AWD Breakout Award for Excellence in Directing.
4. Jen took on abortion in the Midwest.
She created a series, Angelica, about the last remaining abortion clinic in a small Midwest town
Which, please, yes. The series was one of twelve series selected from 4,000 submissions and the only American project for the MIPTV In Development program at Cannes 2018.
And let’s be serious, we absolutely need a show like this, created and written by women, focusing primarily on female characters and addressing an exclusively female issue. I’d say it’s about time, but the truth is we’re long overdue.
5. Jen is a female filmmaker
With three short films under her belt, She Never, which she wrote and directed, Confessions of a Late Bloomer, which she directed, Touch, which she both directed and produced, and two feature films, the 2014 winner of the SXSW Gamechanger Award, Kelly & Cal, and the 2019 horror film Rust Creek.
Know any other female filmmakers you think should be featured for our #FemaleFilmmakerFridays series? Let us know in the comments below!