Filmmaker J.J. Anderson on Representation and the Beauty of the Everyday

Her search for true, empathetic stories

J.J. Anderson is a self-taught filmmaker from San Diego. As a child, J.J. was introduced to the power of storytelling while witnessing the exchange of testimonies at her parents' weekly Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Passionate about creating strong, authentic representations of women and people of color, much of J.J.'s work focuses on uplifting voices of community members, trailblazers and modern-day leaders.

J.J.'s purpose as a filmmaker is centered around representation. She excavates true stories, often working with non-actors on subject matter that resonates with her. J.J. is able to build intimacy within her projects by creating spaces that allow the people she works with to share their authentic beauty.

In our latest episode of Long Story Short, J.J. talks to us about pulling inspiration from everyday acts, rooting for other independent filmmakers, and envisioning a world where all humans show empathy for each other.

For more about J.J., and work she discusses in the video, visit these links:

Own Your Crown [Phenomenal and Hayden5]
Sanford Biggers
Ava DuVernay
Janicza Bravo

Video edit by Carly Angeloni.

Long Story Short is a Muse video series produced with FREE THE WORK, a nonprofit initiative and talent discovery platform for underrepresented creators. Head to to search for more talented creators to work with. For more about J.J. Anderson, visit her Free The Work page.

Ashley Epping
Ashley Epping is art director of Muse by Clio and program lead at the Clio Awards.

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