Jennifer Maytorena Taylor makes colorful, character-based films about real people with extraordinary stories. Her work has been shown at venues such as the Sundance and Locarno Film Festivals, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, the New York Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum, and by broadcasters such as PBS, Sundance Channel, and NHK-Japan.
Jennifer’s newest film, the documentary short Visiting Day, is currently screening in film festivals and with The Atlantic Monthly’s on-line video channel. Her most recent long-form film is Daisy and Max, commissioned by Al Jazeera America for broadcast in the US and around the world. Her previous films include the award-winning documentaries New Muslim Cool, Special Circumstances, Paulina, Home Front, Street Knowledge 2 College, and many short films and co-productions.
Jennifer has held fellowships at the Sundance Institute, Banff Centre for the Arts, the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where she earned a Masters Degree in Specialized Journalism as an Annenberg Fellow. She is a recipient of the James D. Phelan Art Award for her body of work, and has won two Emmys as well as multiple festival awards.
Her work often features Spanish-language content and has been supported by leading national funders such as the Ford Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Latino Public Broadcasting, and the Sundance Documentary Fund.
A former dancer who loves Brazilian pop, honkytonk, comic books, tacos, taco trucks, Mad magazine, urban hiking, cooking, modern design, and flat-ground bike riding, Jennifer also works as an Assistant Professor in the Social Documentation Masters program and the Film and Digital Media Department at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
She is currently in production on two new films, one about a self-identified “redneck” Muslim hospital chaplain in North Carolina and another about acclaimed Brazilian jazz pianist Eliane Elias.