In 1989, when these six people were born, they were named Jessica — the most popular name for girls that year. But from there, their lives took different paths. Now, they reflect on life at the brink of 30 — an age heavy with expectation.
2019 | USA | 20-minute documentary | Directed by Amy King & Maya Sugarman
“The Jessicas are turning 30” weaves together six compelling narratives of people who were born Jessica in 1989. The film captures what it’s like to be 30 in America today. For millennial women, the milestone has become an age heavy with expectation. Thirty-year-old American women today are far less likely to be married and have children than they were 30 years ago – they’re also more likely to have a four-year degree and a full-time job.
Jessica Leiti has overdosed six times but finally feels like she’s turning her life around. Jessica Rosario is a rapper who felt like she and her young mother grew up together. Jessyca Jones sometimes wishes she had the highest dose of valium just so she could sleep through the night.
Growing up, Jessie Read didn’t understand gender rules existed – until he broke them. He felt unsafe. Jessica Amos wishes she were more fit and had travelled the world before she had kids. Jessica Grant wanted to be on Broadway. She’s learned that her aspirations don’t always have to be so calculated.
The Lily is made up of a team of eight millennials. As we each approach this milestone age, we find ourselves discussing what it means to us. This film was born from these explorations as part of an often discussed and diverse generation.
“The Jessicas are turning 30” is produced, directed, edited and scored by women. This is the first film produced by The Lily.
“The Jessicas are turning 30” is a film from The Lily and The Washington Post. The Lily is a publication of The Washington Post that elevates stories critical to women’s lives. We are named after the first U.S. newspaper started by women in 1849. Our mission is two-fold: Empower with news and information and promote inclusivity by exposing diverse voices. The Lily reaches half a million people each month. The Washington Post reaches over 90 million people each month.
Check back for more screening dates.
Bend, Ore. | BendFilm Festival
Brooklyn, N.Y. | Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival
National Television Broadcast | To The Contrary on PBS
- December 2019 (Check back for schedule details.)
Check back for links to press coverage of the film.
Download the PDF Press Kit here.
Download stills here.
Download the movie poster here.
Amy King is editor in chief and creative director of The Lily. Amy proposed and developed the editorial and creative mission of The Lily. She started at The Washington Post in 2013 as an art director for the Arts & Style section and went on to help launch The Post’s national apps and Snapchat Discover channel. She grew up in North Canton, Ohio.
Maya Sugarman is video editor of The Lily, where she has produced and directed the video series “When Used Correctly,” “Unfiltered” and “Nora Knows What to Say.” Before joining The Washington Post, she was a visual journalist at NPR affiliate KPCC in Los Angeles. Maya graduated from UCLA with a degree in art. She grew up in Oakland, Calif.
Neema Roshania Patel is deputy editor of The Lily. Before joining The Washington Post, she worked at NPR member station WHYY as a community editor. Neema graduated from Rutgers University with a dual-degree in journalism and economics, and grew up in Maplewood, N.J.
Editor & Director of Photography | Maya Sugarman
Creative Director | Amy King
Art Director | Amy Cavenaile
Assistant Editor | Mahlia Posey
Additional Camera | James Tensuan
Video Technician | Justin Scuiletti
Title Illustrator | Jessica Hische
Animator | Chloe Meister
Music | Lera Lynn
Music Engineer | Todd Lombardo
Color | Raul Zahir De Leon
Sound Finishing | Ott House Audio
Follow @thejessicasareturning30 on Instagram for updates on the film and screenings.