WRITER I ACTRESS I PRODUCER
As a storyteller, I am driven by the belief that more and more audiences are tired of re-makes and prequels and sequels that have been formulaically assembled under the assumption that a great film is a mathematical equation. I believe there are those who crave what I crave as an audience member: to be genuinely surprised; to have my own prejudices exploded; to leave the theater altered from who I was when I went in.
I believe that my generation has not given up on goofy, joyful, freewheeling optimism even in the face of technology, internet self-invention and post-9/11 world terror. I believe that we are, rather, starving more than ever for stories that will lift our minds to look beyond ourselves; to engage with and improve upon the world around us.
I believe furthermore that we are on the frontier of an unexplored expanse of the female perspective in filmmaking. I am not satisfied that one or two or four women are being given a seat at the table to tell their stories. That happening is good, but it is not good enough.
We do not yet even know what it will look like to actually have a substantial choir of female voices of non-white-straight-cis-able-bodied-male voices, sharing with richness and diversity the multitudinous facets of the human perspective. I believe that as we are able to share our perspective, to have an artistic dialogue with one another, to save ourselves from the dismissiveness of the “chick flick,” that the very fabric of our society will change for the better, as we are all presented with a broader perspective.
And I am exhilarated, because, as the traditional distribution models break down, we filmmakers are more keenly positioned than ever to get our work directly into audiences’ hungry hands, bypassing the gatekeepers who have, for so long, dictated the “tastes” of the viewer.
As women, as historically underrepresented voices of all kinds, and as indie filmmakers, I believe we must come together as strong individual voices and as a community to offer audiences a stronger alternative to the monochrome fare of the mainstream.
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.
A pilot Naomi 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 TV in Canada.
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.
For two years, she hosted 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 Atlanta with her husband, Stephen.
If you are a creative and would like to ask Naomi a question, get her advice, discuss a topic, or connect in general, you can sign up for a free slot in her weekly office hour anytime via this link:
For more in-depth conversation/consultation, you schedule a coaching session here:
All other inquiries, write to Naomi's assistant Marlee at nmjassistant at gmail.com
Literary Agent (book):
Trident Media Group