By Will Espero

Anima is a short documentary directed by Jennifer Jessum about man’s association with all living things. It is spiritual film looking at the relationship between animals and humans in our universe. The term anima is about the soul and the interconnectivity between living beings and their relationship to one another. From a religious perspective, the film showcases many people and religions and captures the commonality of thought when it comes to animals on our earth.

The sacredness of life and the importance of respect, reverence, and compassion for animals are prevalent throughout the film. Animals are seen as God’s creatures to be cherished and loved versus to be seen as food and property. They are seen as equals with a full spectrum of emotions and feelings similar to humans.

Friends and protectors of animals will enjoy this short documentary.

Director Jennifer Jessum

Jennifer Jessum is an award-winning director, choreographer, writer, cinematographer, and producer. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. 

Her work spans across numerous genres including narrative, documentary, commercials, dance-for-the-camera, music videos, live events, and theater. She just wrapped production on Power Rangers Kids Force, a series she directed for the Power Rangers Franchise.

Her two award-winning feature documentaries, Holy Man: The USA vs. Douglas White, narrated by Martin Sheen, and Finding God in the City of Angels, have both received critical acclaim. Her short narrative dance film, Red Earth Calling, won numerous awards at the Maui Film Festival, the Moondance International Film Festival, the Toronto Independent Film Festival, The Eugene International Film Festival, The Utah Screen Dance Festival, and an Accolade. 

Anima is a short film and documentary series she was commissioned to create, and her latest film, Sacred Hoop, is currently in post-production. 

Anima was a commission from an interfaith organization that felt that the voice of religion was missing from the conversation about animals and the environment. As a Director, it was a natural progression to approach the film from the perspective of a universal force that connects us all – which is at the heart of many faith traditions. 

The film is a peace-keeping tool not just between people of different backgrounds, but between people, animals, the environment, and this beautiful planet we all call home. The highest goal of the film is that people might be inspired to act from a deeper place when they are making choices that impact other people, animals, and the planet.

Jennifer Jessum

Anima is an Official Selection at the 2022 edition of the Global Nonviolent Film Festival, and it can be watched from September 29 to October 10 on D!