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 STORYTELLER  |  CHANGEMAKER  | FUTURE-WEAVER

Naomi McDougall Jones

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MEET NAOMI 

Naomi McDougall Jones is an award-winning storyteller, changemaker, and future-weaver.

 

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 receiving a global re-release in February 2022 as an Original by Under the Milky Way and, so, is currently only available on BluRay. But please check us out on a streaming platform near you in the new year!

Naomi's first book, The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood, is now available wherever books are sold in hardcover, audiobook, and e-book. It debuted as the #1 New Release on Amazon in the Entertainment Industry and received an electric response from reviewers with Booklist and Kirkus Reviews calling it "bold," "convincing," "passionate," "well-written," "urgent," and "necessary," and Publishers Weekly writing, "Film viewing will never be the same after reading Jones' insightful look at the reality of being female in Tinseltown." Rose McGowan said of the book, “We need truth. The curtain must be pulled back, and Naomi McDougall Jones has done just that.” It has been featured in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, NPR, BBC, Playboy, Ms. Magazine, Salon.com, among many other national and international media outlets

​Naomi has been a vocal advocate for bringing 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's 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 and produced a global outpouring of support for the women in film movement. Her follow-up TEDxTalk, which she gave with fellow media maker and activist, Sarah Springer, "How to Become a True Agent of Change," examines the journey each of us must take to unravel white supremacy and patriarchy in our own minds. 

 

Naomi teamed up with former CFO of the City of Chicago, Lois Scott, to found The 51 Fund, an investment fund to finance films written, directed, and produced by women. Through The 51 Fund, Naomi became an Executive Producer of the documentary feature film, Cusp, which premiered in the US Documentary Competition at Sundance 2021 and received a global release and awards campaign through Showtime, where it now also available to stream.

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, for which she wrote the teleplay adaptation of Miranda July's short story Roy Spivey.

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.

During the early days of Covid-19, Naomi was invited to write an episode of Day by Day, a podcast of short, narrative radio plays exploring "stories from our new normal." Her episode, Carry Me Home, was the series premiere.

Naomi 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 can be seen in this PBS documentary speaking about that experience and, alongside, Sheryl Strayed, unpacking Hemingway's complicated relationship to women. 

She is the co-creator and showrunner for the scripted, short fiction podcast, The Light Aheadwhich united over 120 creatives from entertainment with next-economy activists and social justice leaders to explore the question, "What would 2030 look like if the USA had an economy that truly worked for everyone?", which is now available wherever you get your podcasts.

In 2021, Naomi launched Avalon: Story -- a center of practice designed to incubate and birth a new media ecosystem born out of two questions: 

  • What does Story need to be to build us a bridge to a more beautiful future? 

  • What are the business structures of Story that can serve as vehicles for the same?

The inaugural Avalon: Story program was Constellation Incubator, which over the summer of 2021 brought together 60 filmmakers to participate in an 8-week incubator designed to scale innovation within the independent film industry and apply design thinking to re-imagine a more equitable and sustainable ecosystem - from development, film finance, production, to marketing and distribution. She co-founded this initiative alongside Abeni Bloodworth, Angela Harmon, and Liz Manashil. The final presentations from the participants of the incubator - 12 fully redesigned independent film ecosystems can be found on YouTube.

Avalon: Story launched its second program, The Avalon Fellowship, in Fall 2021, bringing 6 of today's most pioneering cinematic storytellers to The Big Lost Campus in Ketchum, Idaho, for a week-long retreat during which they explored and innovated around the question, "What does Story need to be to build us a bridge to a more beautiful future? "

Naomi is currently at work on her second book, Big Papa, Little Girl: What I Learned About Whiteness, Womanhood, and Writing from the Ghost of Ernest Hemingway, about the ego-battle she underwent with Hemingway while living in his house and all that has unraveled and evolved from there.

Naomi grew up in Colorado, before attending Cornell and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts for College. Following graduation, she lived in NYC for another 13 years, spent a brief stint in Atlanta, and now lives in Ketchum, Idaho with her husband, Stephen.

Book

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"WE NEED TRUTH. THE CURTAIN MUST BE PULLED BACK AND NAOMI MCDOUGALL JONES HAS DONE JUST THAT."

-ROSE MCGOWAN

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