Jessie Barr is an actor, writer, director and producer based in LA. She is a 2018 Sundance New Voices Episodic LAB Finalist and a finalist for Ryan Murphy's Directing Mentorship Program, The Half Initiative. She grew up in Washington, D.C. dancing with the Washington School of Ballet, making theater and singing in operas as a child.
Jessie makes her feature film directorial debut with Sophie Jones, a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl grappling with life after her mother’s death. Sophie Jones is inspired by true experiences of grief, girlhood and growing up and is executive produced by Nicole Holofcener. Principal photography was completed in August 2018 in Portland, Oregon and post-production was completed in September 2019. The film is currently being submitted to festivals. Nicole Holofcener calls Sophie Jones “ a lovely film. Moving, confident and unusual…a terrific first feature.”
Jessie co-wrote, co-directed and produced her directorial debut: the award-winning short film, Too Long at the Fair, which she stars in opposite Chris Messina and Lena Hudson. Short of the Week calls it, “wickedly witty and fresh...stellar performances and delightfully unpredictable. A real gem.” TLATF had its world premiere at the Oscar qualifying 2018 L.A. Shorts International Film Festival and won Best Comedy Short at the 2018 Salute Your Shorts Film Festival in Los, Angeles. TLATF had it’s UK premiere at the Manchester Film Festival and screened at the 2018 San Diego International Film Festival, the 2018 Boston Film Festival, the 2018 New Hampshire Film Festival and the 2018 St. Louis International Film Festival, among others. TLATF premiered online via Short of the Week, was featured on No Budge and is currently streaming on Vimeo.
Jessie stars in the critically acclaimed, award-winning original series OM CITY, which she created, wrote and produced with her husband, Tom O’Brien. OM CITY won Best Web Series at the 2018 New Media Film Festival Selection, it is a 2016 Tribeca Film Festival Selection, a 2016 International Television Festival Selection, a New York Times TV Critic's Pick, a Vimeo Staff Pick, was voted Best Web Series by Decider.com and was voted "Web to Watch" by USA Today. IndieWire hailed OM CITY as "refreshing," "honest and relatable." Decider calls it "heartfelt and hilarious." "Between Barr’s gal-next-door appeal and the series’ superb production value and soundtrack it wouldn’t be surprising to see OM CITY picked up as a longer form series in the very near future.” - Decider.
Some of Jessie's acting credits include: Lincoln Center, 59E59th, Williamstown Theater Festival, New York Stage & Film, Joe's Pub, Ars Nova, Ensemble Studio Theater and Law & Order: SVU. Jessie made her feature film acting debut in the indie comedy Manhattan Romance, starring Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), Caitlin Fitzgerald (Masters of Sex) and Gaby Hoffman (Transparent). Jessie has been the voice of numerous radio and TV spots including the voice of Nikon's "Show Your Love Some Love" Campaign. Once on the track to become a professional dancer with the Washington School of Ballet Jessie began acting in plays, musicals and operas as a child. She attended NYU, Tisch School of the Arts where she double majored in Theater and English & American Literature. After college Jessie spent years working in the New York theater and musical theater scene before discovering filmmaking.
Jessie has shadowed numerous television directors including Lynn Shelton (GLOW, Casual, AP Bio, Love), Leslye Headland (Russian Doll, SMILF, Heathers) and Stuart McDonald (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Speechless). She has also shadowed numerous music video directors including Grant Spanier who has collaborated with acclaimed artists: Rosalia, Camila Cabello, Major Lazer and more.
Jessie is a proud member of Women in Film LA, Women in Entertainment and Women in Media.