The first time I discovered Kate Jessop’s films I was surprised at what I was presented with: her short films, often just a few minutes long, are unlike anything I had seen before. Her mixture of animation, typography and strong narratives make for a pleasing burst of visual pleasure.
Jessop is an award winning animation filmmaker who studied at Manchester School of Art and came into the public eye after winning the ‘Best of Birds Eye View’ back in 2007. Since then her films have travelled around Europe, to places such as Berlin where they have been displayed and racked up awards such as the Virgin Media shorts prize finalist (2008) and the BBC big screen (over a succession of years).
Jessop’s style was one that she acquired through her artistic and musical background. She was given a copy of Final Cut Pro and from there taught herself to make films in the unique way she now uses. Not only does Jessop do the animation for her films, for films such as ‘Snowflake’, she also provides the soundtrack.
One of Jessop’s most poignant films is ‘Dear Foreigner’, an illustration of a woman’s astoundment at having given birth to a child and finding it so unfamiliar, but immediately loving it. The visual style of the film absorbs the viewer, allowing a level of understanding that does not have to coincide with their actual knowledge of this experience. The animation is refreshing, using old clippings of children playing conkers and creating an immersive experience that the audience will find quite nostalgic.
Short films are a difficult feat to partake in, considering that they have a limited time to immerse the audience into the narrative and still have to leave the viewer feeling as though they have taken something from the film. Jessop succeeds in doing this extremely well; her films are almost spell bounding, showing the world from a different perspective. It’s enjoyable to find a filmmaker who is so very refreshing.