Nailah Jefferson: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 9

“The way that I would best describe my style as just, I try and be honest. I just want them to be truthful, authentic, stories. I want to give you a human connection because I think that’s what will shine through and connect people to the film each and every time.” – Nailah Jefferson, Essence

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Commuted, directed by Nailah Jefferson 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative.Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Nailah Jefferson is a filmmaker influenced greatly by her southern roots. Her first documentary, Vanishing Pearls, told the story of a little known African American oyster fishing community and their fight for justice after the BP oil spill. And her first narrative, Plaquemines, in which a father and son navigate life in a dying fishing culture in Louisiana, was chosen as an American Black Film Festival HBO Shorts finalist and is available on HBO.

Her second feature documentary Commuted is a participant of the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative.

Commuted Nailah Jefferson Chicken & Egg Pictures
Commuted, directed by Nailah Jefferson

Commuted tells the story of Danielle Metz, a 52-year-old woman trying to find her footing after spending nearly half of her life in prison. In 2016 Danielle’s was one of 568 life sentences President Obama overturned. Her life story is just one example of how the US criminal justice system impacts black families—before she was incarcerated, she had lost one boyfriend to police violence, another to a wrongful conviction, and then found herself in prison due to involvement with her husband’s drug ring. As Danielle starts to right her path, we reflect with her on a life interrupted.