Highlights include her feature documentary, Vietnam: The Secret Agent, about the chemical Agent Orange, which received numerous awards including the John Grierson Award for Best New Director at the American Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It premiered at the New York Film Festival, Mannheim Film Festival, and Cinema du Reel, Paris, among others.Vietnam: The Secret Agent also received a Certificate of Merit from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (What today is referred to as 'shortlisted' for the Academy Award.)
Her film, Letters Not About Love, based on a Russian and American correspondence between two poets, received Best Documentary Feature from the SXSW Film Festival and the Dziga Vertov Visionary Artist Award from the Huntington International Independent Film Festival, among others. It is in the collection of many American universities and institutions, was televised internationally, and was a selected feature at INPUT '99, XXII International Public Television Screening Conference.
Ms. Ochs produced the film 9/12: From Chaos to Community, a feature documentary about volunteers at Ground Zero, directed by Susanna Styron. 9/12 received the Audience award at the Fire Island Film Festival and is featured at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. She was Executive Producer of The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, which was released theatrically nationwide to great acclaim, and received the National Board of Review’s Freedom of Expression award.
Articles about Jacki Ochs’ work have appeared in major US news and film publications including the New York Times, LA Times, Plain Dealer, Film Comment, Cineaste, International Documentary Magazine and many others. She has been Executive Director of the Human Arts Association, a not for profit arts foundation, since 1976.
Ms. Ochs attended the University of Pennsylvania, and received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has received a NYFA Fellowship, two MacDowell Colony Fellowships, and the Guggenheim Fellowship. Currently she is working on a film about the neurological disease migraine, and is executive producer on a film about the artist Elizabeth Murray. Jacki was Acting Chair of the Film/Video department at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY from 2012 to 2014, where she currently teaches film as Associate Professor.
Films by Jacki Ochs
Using striking archive and war footage in support of interviews with veterans, scientists, attorneys, the U.S. Air Force, the Veterans Administration, Dow Chemical and more; this film documents the extraordinary history of chemical warfare, agricultural herbicides, damage to the world environment, and the plight of Vietnam veterans and their families as they struggle for treatment of exposure to Agent Orange and dioxin.
“Home,” “poverty,” “window,” are among the everyday words discussed in a five-year correspondence between American poet Lyn Hejinian and Russian poet Arkadii Dragomoshchenko. This dynamic exchange, combined with home movies, archival and new images from the U.S. and Russia, creates a stunning portrait of both countries and a provocative exploration of the relationship between language, culture and communication.