Academy Award-nominated “White Earth” | Interview with J. Christian Jensen

| February 18, 2015

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Thousands of desperate souls flock to America’s Northern Plains seeking work in the oil fields. White Earth is the tale of an oil boom seen through unexpected eyes. The film, which follows three children and an immigrant mother as they brave a cruel winter, explores themes of innocence, home and the American Dream.

Made during his time at Stanford University, J. Christian Jensen’s film is nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject Category. Our series producer Lisa Landi sat down with Christian to talk about his acclaimed film.

Watch the interview.

J. Christian Jensen entered the media profession as a journalist – a passion that lead to work as a documentary filmmaker. Early in his career he worked on a variety of non-fiction productions including projects for National Geographic Film & Television, PBS FRONTLINE and American Experience. He also worked on a film at a remote leprosy (i.e. Hansen’s Disease) colony on Kalaupapa, Hawaii. While studying media arts as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University, Christian wrote and directed a broadcast-length documentary called Sou da Bahia [I’m from Bahia] about art and Afro-Brazilian identity in Northeastern Brazil.

Christian has shot and directed several documentary shorts over the past two years at Stanford University where he recently completed his graduate studies in the MFA Program in Documentary Film & Video.

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Film School Shorts is made possible by a grant from Maurice Kanbar, celebrating the vitality and power of the moving image, and by the members of KQED.

Film School Shorts is a production of KQED.



Series Producer
Lisa Landi

Associate Producer
Julia Shackelford

Peter Borg

Zaldy Serrano
Christina Zee White

Original Music
Written and Produced by

John Andrieni

Kevin Cooke
Marie K Lee

Social Media Specialist
Aldo Mora-Blanco

Sarah Hoffner

On Air Promotion
Bridget Louie

William Lowery
Abby Staeble

Director of TV Production
Sandy Schonning

Executive Producer
Scott Dwyer