Tanya, a young, single mom, plans to drop off Tam, her daughter, at college and live her best life. Tam’s over exuberance in leaving the care of her mother’s overprotective nest creates tension. Tanya is faced with the decision to rediscover herself and possibly her dreams in the process.
Jammie Patton is a writer, director and performer. She currently resides in NYC where she enjoys working both behind and in front of the scenes. Jammie has produced and directed many stage plays, mini-docs, music videos, short films and most recently, a full length feature narrative, shot in her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. Jammie would like to thank Kiziana Jean-Louis and the entire Nest Team for the sweet opportunity to flex her directing muscles once again, while helping to tell such a salient and beautifully sincere story.
“STRONG, FEMALE, LEAD” – That is my affinity as a story-teller. Whether it’s comedy, drama or a suspense-thriller, I love empowering stories about women of color. Who doesn’t want to see themselves or people they know represented on the screen in a positive light? This has always been my personal mission as a filmmaker.
So, when Kiziana Jean-Louis approached me with the offer to direct her “proof of concept”/short film, a dramedy about a young, single, Haitian-American mother, whose daughter is going off to college, it was a no-brainer for me. Here was an opportunity to help add to the tapestry of stories about Black women in a very dynamic way and the fact that Kiziana was committed to building an all- female production crew was the icing on the cake! It was amazing to show up to set and EVERYONE is a woman, from the DP to Sound to the production assistants. It was definitely a different kind of collective energy and I felt very fortunate to be at the directing helm.
The script for “The Nest” is based on an awesome television pilot Kiziana wrote. I immediately thought the story was provocative, raw, heart-warming and funny! I wholeheartedly laughed out loud while reading it! There were so many great nuances in the pilot script that I said to Kiziana “If you can get some of the elements from the pilot into the short, then you definitely got a collaborator in me.” She agreed and we were off to the races!
Now, I don’t have any children of my own, so I haven’t directly experienced empty nest in the traditional sense. Though, at its core, “The Nest” is still a very relatable story about the excitement and dread of major change. To highlight that journey specifically through a mother/daughter relationship where the mother is comparatively close in age to her daughter, is a powerful and at times poignant pill to swallow. This particular dynamic leaves room for a lot of emotional textures in the telling of the story. To assist with that telling, I often like to focus on colors and music and even background sounds or the lack thereof. Sound is the easel to the canvas of images for me. You can indeed paint without an easel, but it sweetens experience and displays the image so much better than without.
Another important element to incorporate into the capturing of this story was that our lead, Tanya, is of Haitian descent. Her Haitian heritage is more pertinent in the full-length, pilot version of the script but I still wanted to incorporate some elements of that into the short. Hence you will hear a brief exchange in Haitian Creole, you will also see motifs and Haitian artwork in the background throughout the film. These paintings were loaned to the production by an awesome Haitian Artist by the name of Jean-Pierre Vertus.
There’s so much more I could say but in summary I’d like to note that it was great to tell a story about a strong, Black woman, but the most attractive component for me is that this story isn’t centered around Tanya being Black or strong. It is simply about our hero being human, complex, vulnerable and courageous.
It’s a great story and I look forward to you experiencing it.
Love and Light,