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FilmmakersFilmmakers 2024

The Filmmaker Four: Jodie Childers

By May 23, 2024No Comments

A visiting assistant professor at Tulane University, Jodie Childers is a documentary filmmaker, a scholar in American studies, and an award-winning writer based in New Orleans and New York City. She produced the documentary The Other Parade, which aired on RTÉ in Ireland, and directed and shot Down by the Riverside, which had its world premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival. Her writing has been published in The Hopkins Review, Comparative American Studies, Transatlantica, Poetry East, Jacobin, Boulevard, The Portland Review, Feral Feminisms, Appalachian Reckoning, and Middle West Review, among others. She received a Leifur Eiríksson Foundation Fellowship, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and two Pushcart Prize nominations. She holds a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in American studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.F.A. in creating writing from Brooklyn College.

What it the title of your film in BIFF 2024?
Down by the Riverside

What was your first experience with film and how did it influence your first project?
I grew up in Rust Belt Appalachia, watching classic movies from the 1950s and 60s on a black-and-white 13-inch TV with my eccentric mother, who was not particularly adept at childrearing but fabulous at cultivating creativity. We memorized and recited lines from A Streetcar Named Desire and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The importance of character in these two films (and in my life) has informed me as a documentary filmmaker and a writer.

Who is (are) your favorite filmmakers?
I am most drawn to Czech New Wave, especially The Fireman’s Ball, The Joke, The Ear, etc., as I have a strong penchant for dark humor, satire, and anything that deals with paranoia. In terms of documentary, I am partial to observational docs that tell communal stories and capture transitional moments in time, like Barbara Kopple’s Harlan County, USA., which I revere as the pinnacle of the genre for its courageous and empathetic storytelling—not to mention, my Uncle Chuck is featured in it!

What are you working on that no one knows about?
A docu-fiction short set in the Rust Belt

Who would play you in a movie? What’s your go to movie snack? What’s the film title that best describes your life?
Hypothetically speaking, I would be honored for Massachusetts native Ruth Gordon to play me in a movie. My go-to movie snack is Prince Polo, a Polish candy bar I became addicted to while living in Iceland and watching movies at Bío Paradís in Reykjavík. The film title that best describes my life? Little Fugitive.