Clements chose to go into filmmaking after working as a community organizer in low-income neighborhoods in Wichita, Kansas. She saw firsthand how much influence TV had on people's lives. Realizing that the most effective tool for social change was the media, Clements graduated from Stanford University's masters program in documentary filmmaking. Man Oh Man, her master thesis film, was the second male gender issue film to be released in the US. Because of the success of that film Clements was able to make Dear Lisa: A Letter To My Sister. Dear Lisa takes a gentle look at female socialization. Both films are historical douments from another era, and both are unfortunately still relevant in terms of the gender issues of today. Means of Grace, her third film in New Day, is a personal investigation into the intersection between mental illness and the restrictive roles that women were supposed to play during the 1950s and early 1960s. This film aired nationally on PBS and showed at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. While making these films she also worked as a line prodcuer for Maturity Broadcast News, Globalstage, and on other numerous projects. She was the Executive Producer for Going on 13, a New Day film that follows four urban girls from the ages 9 through 13. She worked as a Production Manager for Independent Television Service as well as providing editorial and fundraising consulting to other independent producers through her business,The Film Farm. She currently lives in the Northwest, is a single parent, and teaches filmmaking to high school students. Teaching gives Clements a deep understanding of how media can transform lives. Currently she is involved in a book project called, An Alphabet Book for God.
Films by J Clements
The filmmaker questions her sister, herself and others about the dreams and hopes they had growing up as girls in contrast to the reality they face as women. Topics include: childhood, athletics, careers, motherhood, body image, sexual assault and self-esteem. Made in 1990, this film documents a growing awareness of feminist issues. Have things changed, today?
Man Oh Man takes a loving, curious look at the forces which mold young boys into men. Men from all walks of life speak with humor and sadness about what is expected of them. This film explores personal definitions of masculinity, inter-gender communications, self-worth, gender stereotyping, and changing roles. As an honest representation of one filmmaker's glimpse into the male world, it is guaranteed to spark audience interest and stimulate discussion.
Through one woman's intimate story, Means of Grace brings to light the painful intersection of women's roles, mental illness, and the 1950's.