"A committed, creative, resourceful and determined creative practitioner"
Patrick McGrady, Creative Director, Wavelength Films / Associate Lecturer at UAL
Jess Gell is documentary Director and multidisclipinary Artist. Her artistic practice interweaves with her filmmaking. Her films have focused on the lives of rambunctious painters to unearthing hidden family history.
In tandem with her personal creative practice, Jess is a freelance Assistant Producer for documentaries, working closely with BAFTA & Emmy-winning Directors & Producers. Her industry credits include Women at War - The Invisible Army (Foxtrot Films, Sky Arts 2024) directed by Margy Kinmonth , a feature documentary shining a light on the trailblazing role of women war artists, and multi award-winning/ BAFTA-longlisted feature documentary Hostile (Galeforce Films 2022), uncovering the 'hostile environment' for migrant communities. (Picturehouse, Curzon, Bertha DocHouse, BFI Player). Described by Jon Snow (Channel 4) as "an important and revealing film about UK society in the 21st century". Jess has worked on several music and arts documentaries in development, and has also worked at Raw TV, MullenLowe and Heroes Films.
As a freelance Director & Editor, her recent interviews with artists across the UK form the series of shorts Inside the Artist's Studio for Art on a Postcard x War Child UK. Her documentary with AOAP for St Wilfrid's Hospice screened at the Towner Gallery Cinema in 2023. Her commissions within socially engaged practice include directing and editing The Power of Words (Status Employment), described by the National Lottery Awards for All charity as "greatly successful", focuses on how our relationship with words shapes the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us. She has also filmed and edited promotional shorts for the Arts Council funded WomanUp! Podcast and documentaries with Apsara Arts.
Jess is an alumna of the Grierson DocLab 2020 programme, selected for mentorships with Emmy-winning Producer Maureen Murray (Foxtrot Films) and BAFTA-winning Producer Gillian Moseley (MediaLab). Jess received a First-Class Honours in Film and Television at University of the Arts London in 2017. Her short documentary Jean Cooke: Delight In the Thing Seen focuses on the fascinating life of RA Painter Jean Cooke and The Day Frank Died uncovers the events behind her paramedic Grandfather's sudden death in the 1960s.