Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

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Jennifer Maytorena Taylor makes colorful, character-based films about real people with extraordinary stories, often with Spanish-language content and frequently for PBS. Her features and shorts have shown at venues like the Sundance, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Locarno Film Festivals, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, New York Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Channel, Al Jazeera, and NHK-Japan. Feature documentary and short film credits include New Muslim Cool, Daisy and Max, Paulina, Message to Zaire/The Talk, Home Front, Street Knowledge 2 College, Visiting Day, and Redneck Muslim.


Based in San Francisco and born in Los Angeles of Mexican, Sicilian, Irish and English heritage, Jennifer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she is also the Director of Graduate Studies for the Social Documentation MFA program. She is a Sundance Documentary Institute fellow, and has held fellowships at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the USC Annenberg School for Journalism, and the MacDowell Colony. She is currently in post-production on a new verité feature, supported by the Sundance Documentary Fund, about a small blue-collar town grappling with deep change in an era of refugee crises, the opioid epidemic, and extreme polarization.