Filmed over two years in a small New England community caught in the opioid epidemic and a battle over Syrian refugee resettlement, this character-based verité feature explores what changes – and what doesn’t –when small town America meets the world and discovers it is us.
Specific Pictures founder and direction/producer Jennifer Maytorena Taylor makes colorful, character-based films about real people with extraordinary stories, often with Spanish language content and in collaboration with diverse communities and colleagues.
Films by Specific Pictures have shown at venues like the Sundance, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Locarno Film Festivals, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, New York Museum of Modern Art, PBS, Sundance Channel, and NHK-Japan.
Recent works include the documentary short Redneck Muslim; Message to Zaire for the anthology film The Talk for national PBS; Daisy and Max, a long-form film commissioned by Al Jazeera America and currently in broadcast rotation worldwide on Al Jazeera English; and Visiting Day for The Atlantic. Other work includes award-winning documentaries New Muslim Cool and Special Circumstances for national PBS, Street Knowledge 2 College for PBS.org, Paulina, Home Front, and many short films and co-productions.
With the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Fork Films, Ford Foundation, Catapult Film Fund, Hartley Film Foundation and Sundance Documentary Fund, Jennifer is currently in late production on a vérité feature documentary called The Gut (working title), about two years in the life of a small, blue collar town in New England that is struggling to emerge from the opioid epidemic while becoming a resettlement site for Syrian refugees.
Born in California of Mexican, English/Irish, and Sicilian heritage, Jennifer is an Assistant Professor of Social Documentation and Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She divides her time between San Francisco and Santa Cruz, and when she is not working she is trying to learn how to play jazz bass.