Film of the Month: Jenny Gage

Posted April 3rd, 2017 by Matt Turner

Jenny Gage is a photographer and filmmaker whose directorial debut, All This Panic, has been gaining consistent acclaim since its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Working alongside her partner Tom Betterton, the pair initially established themselves as fashion photographers, before deciding to pursue an interest in storytelling and move into the world of filmmaking. With Betterton as producer and herself as director, , together they followed seven teenage girls over the course of three years for All This Panic, capturing the minutiae of their lives, their struggles with social drama, mental health and sexuality at this crucial juncture between teen and adulthood.

Jenny Gage was raised in Malibu, California and received her MFA in photography at Yale University. Tom Betterton was raised in Lawrenceville, NJ and studied art at Dartmouth College.

They live in Brooklyn, NY. and began showing their collaborative works at the Luhring Augustine gallery in NYC before being commissioned by Dennis Friedman at W Magazine to shoot their first fashion editorial.  Since then their editorial work has included stories for Vogue Nippon, Self Service, Vanity Fair and Italian Vogue, as well as collaborating on advertising campaigns for Ralph Lauren, JC Penny, Estée Lauder, Kiki de Montparnasse, Missoni, Piazza Sempione, IBM, Margaret Howell and Sony.

Their photography and films have shown in galleries and museums throughout the world and they recently published a photography monograph entitled “Upstairs, Downstairs and Outside.”

While raising her young daughter, Gage was inspired by two teenage sisters who lived on her street. This pushed Gage to ask what is it like to be a teenage girl in New York right now. Before long, it was clear that the film would focus on the mysterious lives that these teenagers lead, and on each of their coming-of-age stories. All This Panic would capture the very essence of this captivating time in the girls’ lives, what it means to experience “the rose tint of nostalgia in real time”.

Jenny Gage wanted to capture a side of these teenage girls that cinema doesn’t tend to show. She was interested in articulating the side of these young women that had a lot to say, and sure enough, this shone through in All This Panic. In aiming to create an intimate documentary, Gage and her team filmed the entirety of the film in roving, roaming close-up, letting the audience in on the lives of the girls – prioritising the seemingly innocuous as much as the dramatic.

All This Panic is currently in UK cinemas, and also available to watch on iTunes.

Film of the Month is open for short film submissions until April 14th. The three films with the most votes from a shortlist of twelve will be send to Jenny for her insight, comment and advice. The top three also win Vimeo+ memberships.

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