PRETTYBIRD filmmaker Jess Kohl has directed a new series of short films commissioned by Unilever to celebrate the stories of real-life members of the LGBTQI+ community in the UK. Speaking on the project, Jess Kohl says: ‘As a filmmaker, I like to show life and also learn more from life. What interested me in collaborating with Unilever and Superdrug was their commitment to shining a light on diverse individuals from the community across the UK. In this campaign, we wanted to celebrate the intersections that push and grow LGBTQ+ culture and how we are perceived/represented. The four films we have made cannot capture all the richness of UK queer culture but it’s a start at showing some of it."
Jess Kohl is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer whose work marries a raw, intimate style with a focus on global youth culture and marginalized communities. Graduating from Central St Martins with 1st class honors, she quickly carved a niche in the industry, creating strong emotional narratives that tell the stories of those existing on the fringes of society. Her films have been screened at festivals such as BFI Flare, LSFF, and Ciclope. Whether documenting the UK queer Jewish underground scene in her film ‘Buttmitzvah’, following a group of rebel Filipino punks living under president Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ in her Raindance nominated ‘film Anarchy in the Philippines’, or highlighting the contrast between Indian and Western queerness in her candid and beautifully shot ‘Nirvana’ – which won multiple awards including Best Documentary at Milan Fashion Film Festival (where she also won Best Director) & Athens Film Festival, as well as being nominated for a One World Media Award – Jess’ work shows a clear talent for crafting films that document those searching for acceptance in their communities, religions, races, and cultures. A frequent Nowness and Dazed collaborator, Jess’ distinctive style and talent for capturing nuanced and authentic moments have naturally led to her working on commercial projects, creating poignant campaigns for clients such as Tinder, Facebook, VSCO, Unilever, and Nike.