Director, Producer, Editor
Bay Area filmmaker, Cassie Jaye, started working in the film industry at 16 years old, acting in numerous independent films, TV shows, and commercials. At age 21, Jaye decided to go behind the camera to document and analyze social issues she was passionate about. In 2008, she founded Jaye Bird Productions with her family, Nena Jaye (mother) and Christina Clack (sister), to produce cutting edge documentaries that expand the mind and encourage thought and action.
Jaye Bird Productions' first film and Jaye's directorial debut, "Daddy I Do" follows Abstinence-Only Programs in America and examines the choices people make based on the sexual education they had received. This film set the precedent for what Jaye Bird Productions is now known for: having a sensitive and unbiased approach to difficult issues. "Daddy I Do" was an Official Selection at ten film festivals and garnered six awards, including the award for Best Documentary at the 2010 Cannes Independent Film Festival in France. Universities, women's groups, health organizations and sex education activists have sought out "Daddy I Do" for sponsored screenings to help raise awareness and encourage discussion on the future of Sex Education in America.
Jaye then directed "Faces Overlooked", an award-winning short documentary about Marin County's hidden hunger crisis. This short won 2nd Prize in the 'Faces of Hunger in America' national film competition hosted by the Palms for Life Fund. The short was later selected by YouTube's Video Volunteers to be featured on the YouTube homepage on Thanksgiving Day 2009. "Faces Overlooked" continues to be used as a vehicle online to help expose the hidden hunger crisis in America.
In 2012, Jaye released her second feature documentary "The Right to Love: An American Family". The film highlights the Leffew Family (a legally married gay couple in the state of California and their two adopted kids), and shows their struggle for equal rights and protection under the law. The film puts a face to the debate around marriage equality, gay adoption, bullying, and LGBT youth suicide. "The movie paints a clear picture of the polarizing, largely unsettled state of marriage equality," states Gary Goldstein in a Los Angeles Times review of the film. "The Right to Love: An American Family" had a limited theatrical release in New York City and Los Angeles in September 2012, it won four Telly Awards including Best Social Issues Documentary 2012, and continues to be used as a vehicle to educate those who do not support LGBT rights.
In November 2012, Cassie Jaye began production on her latest feature documentary, the "Untitled Swaziland Documentary". Partnered with Palms for Life Fund Desmedia Productions, Jaye started documenting the social situation of Swaziland, a small country bordered by South Africa that holds the heavy weight of having the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world. Half of Swaziland's population are children, and half of those children are orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. The "Untitled Swaziland Documentary" is set to be released in early 2014.
"My passion is giving a voice to the voiceless, and my standards are to always be fair and true to all sides of the argument. It's not my job to preach, but it is my personal obligation to share the facts and let you make your own decision." – Cassie Jaye