Jesse Nesser - Director/Producer
Walk With Me: The Trials of Damon J. Keith is Jesse’s third feature length documentary. His film work has taken him to the Big Sky Country of Montana, the poverty of Haiti, the iconic South of France, the villages of Tanzania,and into the streets and Federal Courthouse of Detroit. His movies are diverse in story and locale, but all explore, in different ways, a very common human experience: the way in which decisions often made with the best intentions don’t always lead us where we think we are going, but can result in remarkable outcomes.
Jesse has a duel degree in political conflict and documentary film. He grew up in several European countries, allowing him to experience a wide range of cultures. He learned from an early age to see the world from different points of view, and cites this as an influence in deciding to pursue documentary film. His work includes freelance directing and editing on diverse projects for the National Endowment for the Arts, Marlboro College, The National Science Foundation, The Southern Vermont Therapeutic Riding Center and Mitlas Productions. Currently Jesse is producing short films for the SAY Detroit Foundation in Detroit, Michigan, The Have Faith Haiti Organization in Port Au Prince, Haiti, and Hospice of Michigan. He recently completed a series of film featurettes for Harper Collins Publishers showcasing musicians including Tony Bennett, Burt Bacharach, Darlene Love, Wynton Marsalis, Phredley Brown, Paul Stanley (KISS) and Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) who were featured characters in author Mitch Albom’s latest book, The Magic String of Frankie Presto.
Jesse directed two previous feature films, The Ranch for Kids, and Tanzania.
The Ranch for Kids chronicles the hope and heartbreak of American parents who have adopted orphans from overseas, only to discover the children have severe psychological and behavioral disorders that were not disclosed by the foreign orphanages. These children now threaten the stability, and even the lives, of their families. The Ranch For Kids screened at the 2015 Trail Dance Film Festival. The film won Best Documentary Drama at the 2014 Costa Rica International Documentary Film Festival.
Tanzania, follows affluent, naïve and idealistic students from several countries arriving in Africa expecting to change the lives of impoverished villagers, but discovering instead that it is, in fact, their own lives that end up most changed by the experience. Tanzania screened in France.