Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s documentary films 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, PBS, Sundance Channel, and NHK-Japan. A professor in the Social Documentation M.F.A. program and the Department of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Jennifer divides her time between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
Recent works include the short Redneck Muslim; Message to Zaire for the anthology film The Talk for national PBS; Daisy and Max, a long-form film commissioned by Al Jazeera America and currently in broadcast rotation worldwide on Al Jazeera English; and Visiting Day for The Atlantic. Other work includes award-winning documentaries New Muslim Cool and Special Circumstances for national PBS, Street Knowledge 2 College for PBS.org, Paulina, Home Front, and many short films and co- productions.
In residence, Jennifer worked on a longitudinal verité feature documentary called The Gut. It is set in a small heroin-battered town in Vermont and named for one of its historically immigrant neighborhoods. The community sharply divides into those who embrace resettlement as an engine for economic growth and new diversity for a white and graying town, and those who fear majority-Muslim Syrian newcomers will seed terrorism and drain social services.