J. Christian Jensen
Jensen began working in media as a journalist – a passion that evolved into more creative work as a documentary and hybrid filmmaker. Between 2002 and 2006, he filled a variety of production roles on several short and feature-length fiction films, including Together Again for the First Time and The Flyboys. In 2006, while pursuing a degree in Media Arts Studies at Brigham Young University, Jensen was awarded an Oscarson Discovery Grant which enabled him to relocate to Washington D.C. where he interned for National Geographic Television & Film. He also worked on PBS FRONTLINE and American Experience, and with the co-production of The Mormons.
Between 2006 and 2010, Jensen continued to work in non-fiction helping to create The Soul of Kalaupapa, a documentary about the remote Kalaupapa leprosy (Hansen's Disease) colony on Molokai, Hawaii. He also worked as an editor and camera person at BYU Television International and was an editor on Messiah: Behold the Lamb of God, and Storytellers, which were both produced for BYUtv by Kaleidoscope Pictures.
In 2008, Jensen received funds from ORCA, The Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts, and the Kennedy Center for International Studies, to write and direct a broadcast-length documentary called Sou da Bahia (I’m from Bahia) about art and Afro-Brazilian identity in Northeastern Brazil. He also co-curated a multiple medium art exhibit by the same name to accompany the film’s television premier throughout the U.S. and Latin America.
In 2011, after a year living abroad in China, Jensen was accepted to Stanford University's MFA Program in Documentary Film & Video, where he received the Carmen Christensen Fine Arts Fellowship. He also received graduate fellowships to attend The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (2012), the Telluride Student Symposium (2013), and the annual University Film & Video Association (UFVA) Conference (2013). Within Stanford's program, he produced and directed the following documentary and experimental short films: Out of Body (2011), Between Land and Sea (2012), ALPHA & OMEGA (2012), and White Earth (2013). The films have since played at major festivals throughout the United States including Napa Valley, DOC NYC, Palm Springs ShortFest, Mill Valley, and NextFrame. ALPHA & OMEGA was also a finalist in the Student Academy Awards. White Earth was a national recipient of the Carole Fielding Student Grant and was screened at the 2014 Slamdance film festival.
Jensen received his Master of Fine Arts from Stanford University in 2013. After graduating, Jensen was a finalist for the International Documentary Association, David L. Wolper's Student Documentary Award, with his film, Between Land and Sea.
In 2014, Jensen was awarded the Jury Special Mention for Cinematography in a Documentary Short for, White Earth, screened at the 2014 SlamDance Film Festival. The short film also received the Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina, and won second place in the Student Academy Awards in 2014 in the documentary category.
In 2015, White Earth was nominated for an Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category. The same year, it received an honorable mention at the 2015 LDS Film Festival. Jensen was a jury member for the documentary short category at the Full Frame Film Festival that year, and he presented the award for that category.
- St. George News - "St. George native, documentary filmmaker receives Oscar nomination" (17 Jan 2015)
- KSL.com - "Utahn's documentary nominated for Academy Award" (17 Jan 2015)
- University Film and Video Association - (5 April 2013)
- SlamDance Film Festival - Audience and Jury Prizes (23 Jan 2014)
- International Documentary Association - David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award (12 Nov 2013)
- Palo Alto Weekly - Festival 2.0: Between Land and Sea (27 September 2012)
- The Daily Universe - Students can explore Brazil from campus (18 September 2009)