07961 370 713
I make films with strong narratives. My work is known for its authentic storytelling, emotional power, and visual punch. Some of the projects are micro, while others involve huge production teams. All are driven by a desire to tell complex true stories in a compelling and nuanced way.
My latest film '100 Vaginas' got rave reviews - 5 stars in the Telegraph, Guardian and Independent, big spreads in Grazia, the Daily Mail and The Sun who called it a ground breaking documentary that should be shown in schools.
'Angry White and American' which I made with writer and journalist Gary Younge was Grierson nominated last year. His encounter with white Supremacist Richard Spencer went viral on social media with over 11 million hits before the film even aired.
Other recent fims include a WW1 drama documentary about the illict love affair between Sigfried Sassoon and Wilfried Owen for ITV starring John Hurt and a series of films about the Rwandan genocide. My film about slavery and the American Civil War for History in the US, introduced by Barack Obama, was four times Emmy nominated.
In between films I make TV commercials and content for global brands – recent campaigns include P&G’s Always, Depend, Google and Virgin Atlantic.
I speak fluent French, German and Spanish and have dual US citizenship.
100 VAGINAS – BURNING BRIGHT FILMS FOR C4
100 Vaginas is a provocative, bold journey through the many truths of having a vagina. So often seen through a pornographic lens and the male gaze, this film explores the vagina in a radical way - from a woman’s perspective. Women from 19 to 77 candidly discuss feelings about everything from puberty, periods, masturbation, orgasms, birth, infertility, menopause, gender, sexuality… to FGM, rape and cancer. Based on Laura Dodsworth’s book ‘Womanhood – The Bare Reality’ in which the artist photographed a hundred women’s vulvas.
It is not a radical thing to have a vagina but Channel 4's documentary feels quietly revolutionary...a powerful and essential documentary ...100 Vaginas is exquisite…it never feels intrusive or exploitative although the subject matter is about as up-close-and-personal as it is possible to be…taking its cues from art by Egon Schiele and Lucien Freud: it is frank, but also sensuous. Roisin O'Connor, The Independent
Extraordinary and empowering...gently but firmly and relentlessly radical - Lucy Mangan, The Guardian
Hurrah for Laura Dodsworth and director Jenny Ash...each topic is covered with a perfect combination of directness and compassion...I was moved to tears - Helen Brown, The Telegraph
ANGRY, WHITE AND AMERICAN - SUGAR FILMS FOR C4 – GRIERSON SHORTLISTED
A road trip from Maine to Mississippi with writer and journalist Gary Younge. He explores the mental, emotional and economic state of white America. His encounter with white Supremacist Richard Spencer went viral on social media with over 11 million hits before the film even aired.
An unflinching look at American despair and racial hatred. As nationalism and bigotry increase, Gary Younge’s documentary examines the fractured psyche of white America with grace and insight…a thoughtful, generous-hearted documentary. Essential viewing. - The Guardian
THE PITY OF WAR - ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV
Starring John Hurt, I directed and wrote this drama documentary about WW1 poets. At the heart of the film is the story of Sassoon and Owen’s forbidden love affair, told through their passionate correspondence. John Hurt plays Sassoon in the 1960s, in the twilight years of his life. He is haunted by his experiences in the trenches and cannot overcome the grief of losing the love of his life. He provides the backbone to the film as we flash back with him to his younger self – played by Morgan Watkins (The Hour). Wilfred Owen is played by Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game, One Day and An Education) and Robert Graves is played by Joe Claflin (Game of Thrones).
The Pity of War: ITV’s poignant dramatized account of war poets’ Sassoon and Owen's relationship. Playing the aged Sassoon, his eyes clouding with traumatic reminiscence, Hurt delivered the poetry in a manner that can only be described as poetic, his cadence and timbre so clotted-cream-rich it should have come with a health warning. - The Telegraph
KIGALI GENOCIDE MUSEUM - SUNDOG PICTURES
A series of short 10’ films comissioned by the Genocide Museum in Kigali, Rwanda, for their permanent exhibition. The films present the historical context of the genocide and give a voice to its survivors.
REMEMBERING WORLD WAR 1 - 4 CREATIVE FOR C4
I directed a series of interstitial films for C4’s Remembrance season. Each featured a well-known actor reading war poetry - Sean Bean, Gemma Arterton, Stephen Graham and Sophie Okonedo. John Hay - commissioning editor for Channel 4 – “Jenny more than delivered. The shorts are subtle, modern, beautiful and powerful. They've got us all excited again about what short content can do."
THE PLAYBOY POWERBROKER – IN DEVELOPMENT WITH TIGERLILY FILMS
A feature about the 1990 unfolding hostage crisis after Iraq invaded Kuwait. 300 Brits were stranded there and used as human shields by Sadaam. The government seemed unable to secure their release. Then an unlikely figure came to their rescue – Richard Branson. In 4 months he transformed himself and his tiny two-plane airline into a big global brand – making both household names overnight.
PERSONAL AFFAIRS, 2AM TV FOR BBC3
I directed two episodes of this comedy drama series about a group of PAs who work in an investment bank in the City. Starring Archie Panjabi (The Constant Gardener, The Good Wife) Darren Boyd (Four Lions) and Robert Gant (Queer as Folk, Friends).
MISSING, LEOPARD DRAMA FOR BBC1
I directed two episodes of this drama series set in a Missing Persons Unit in Dover. Starring Pauline Quirke (Birds of a Feather).
WATERLOO ROAD, SHED DRAMA FOR BBC1
I directed two episodes of BBC1’s popular drama series set in a tough inner-city comprehensive. Anne Mensah, (Head of Drama, BBC Scotland) wrote of the first episode “This is an excellent episode, with inventive and interesting shots and really well crafted performances.”
ME AND ALL THE OTHER MOTHERS, BBC COMEDY (GLASGOW) FOR BBC2
I directed this 30’ comedy pilot about a widower with young children who takes on the mothers’ mafia at his kids’ school. Starring Justin Edwards (The Thick of It, In the Loop).
AMERICA - THE STORY OF US, NUTOPIA FOR HISTORY CHANNEL – 4 TIMES EMMY NOMINATED
Landmark drama documentary series introduced by Barack Obama, tracing the history of America from Jamestown to 1945. The film which I wrote and directed about slavery and the run up to the civil war was nominated for four International Emmys and a NAACP drama award. Filmed in South Africa.
Visually thrilling - New York Times . A smart, provocative look at American History - Hollywood Reporter.
A masterful example of storytelling. The show's eyewitness account of a New Orleans slave auction, where buyers and sellers prod their merchandise like animals, is like a punch in the stomach. Its strong narrative drive is cross-hatched with nimble intellectual linkages that turn history into something warm and palpable. - Miami Herald
THE BRITISH, NUTOPIA FOR SKY ATLANTIC
Dramatised history series. I wrote and directed two 60’ minute films about the 18th century and how Britain reinvented itself from a destitute nation crippled by years of civil war and plague into the greatest superpower on earth – through trade, sex and slavery. Featuring Sam West as Samuel Pepys.
DAYS OF DARKNESS, UNIQUE FOR ITV
I directed this 30’ drama documentary based on the true story of an American doctor who is forced to operate on her own breast cancer whilst trapped in a research station in the South Pole. Starring Lesley Sharp (The Full Monty, Inkheart, Vera Drake). Executive producer Paul Abbott.
DEAD MAN BOARDING, UNIQUE FOR ITV
I directed this 30’ drama documentary about a snowboarder’s eight days of torment when he becomes lost in a blizzard on a Californian mountain. This film is utterly riveting – Sunday Times
EMPIRE WARRIORS - THE HUNT FOR KIMATHI, BBC CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR BBC2
I wrote and directed the story of the Mau Mau’s charismatic guerrilla leader, Dedan Kimathi, who fought against British rule in 1950s Kenya and was executed days before the country gained independence. Filmed in the Aberdare Mountains, Kenya. Compelling…informative, intelligently presented and entertaining – Standard
I SHOULDN’T BE ALIVE - TERROR ON THE ZAMBEZI, DARLOW SMITHSON FOR C4 and DISCOVERY US
I wrote and directed the story of an African family’s fight for survival when they are thrown into one of the most crocodile infested rivers in the world.
THE NIGHT STALKER, C5 FOR C5 and DISCOVERY US
The dramatised story of a Hispanic detective’s quest to track down a serial killer from his own neighbourhood who terrorised LA in the mid 80s.
DON’T MENTION THE WAR, BBC CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR BBC2
A film with political author Michael Cockerell looking at Britain’s relationship with Germany since 1945.
Fascinating viewing…a current affairs soap opera in which personal relationships play a crucial part in international policy – The Times
DOLLY PARTON: PLATINUM BLONDE, BBC MUSIC AND ARTS FOR BBC1
I wrote and directed this 60’ profile of Dolly Parton, it has been repeated almost every year since it was made.
After Jenny Ash’s excellent documentary I have become one of Dolly Parton’s greatest fans. And not a moment too soon – Observer A well-crafted portrait of a clever, assured, talented woman – Daily Mail
TRICKY TRICKSTERS, BBC NHU FOR BBC2
A film about trickster mythology, I dramatised the West African Anansi myth, filmed in a Ghanaian village.
THE X CREATURES – YETI MYTHS AND MEN, BBC NHU FOR BBC1 and DISCOVERY
I directed a film about the Yeti in the Himalayas, where local people believe it still lives.
Lushly filmed it challenges without being sneering – Daily Mail
IT TAKES TWO, BBC MUSIC FOR BBC1
I wrote and directed this film about legendary pop duos A superb one-off documentary – Observer
DIET JUNKIES - GURUS, BBC CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR BBC2
Intelligent and absorbing documentary – Sunday Times
UNITED NATIONS TELEVISION
I helped set up the UN's TV arm as part of a peace project in former Yugoslavia during the war. We produced a weekly programme that was broadcast in the three warring countries, making films throughout the region.