Jesse received a Masters Degree in documentary film from New York University. She was selected for “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by filmmaker magazine, and is a member-owner of the distribution cooperative New Day Films. She also has a published New York Times Video Op-Ed “Sex, Lies and Photoshop.” Her film project BODY TYPED and related interactive website, received grants from Chicken & Egg Pictures, and the Fledgling Fund ( She has also received grants from Catapult Film Fund and a MacDowell Arts Colony Residency, Sponsored by The National Endowment For the Arts. Her short film 34x25x36 premiered at the SXSW film festival and received a national PBS broadcast on POV. 

Jesse also works as a youth media educator, and for three years taught Reel Stories: Sundance’s Youth Documentary Lab. Jesse has also taught Girls Make Movies at the Girls Leadership Institute, and founded a youth video program in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  

Honors/ Grants:

Named one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine
Awards from: The Sundance Film Festival, Newport International Film Festival, Luna Fest
Received grants from Chicken & Egg Pictures, Catapult Film Fund, The Fledgling Fund
National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship/ Residency at The MacDowell Colony for the Arts
Screenings at MASS MoCa, Peabody Essex Museum, and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
National PBS Broadcast on POV
MASS MoCA Residency with Working Films - Working Films use documentaries to advance solutions to climate change, dirty energy, economic inequality, and racial injustice.
Art Residency at Marble House Project, Vermont
Art Residency at Rockland Woods, Seattle




Films by Jesse Erica Epstein


Part 3 of BODY TYPED, 34 x 25 x 36 is the third installment in a trilogy of films (including The Guarantee and the Sundance award-winning Wet Dreams and False Images) examining issues of body image from quirky and revealing angles. This time, we are taken into the inner workings of the Patina V Mannequin Factory in the City of Industry, Calif., where the artistry, craft and marketing that go into creating "the ideal woman of the moment" - in plastic - are accompanied by a remarkable amount of reflection on just what that ideal means (one thing it means is a 34" x 25" x 36" figure).

Patina V is a place where the owner will tell women (and then run for cover), "There are no perfect bodies out there. We make the perfect body." And the chief designer harkens back to the roots of his craft not only in French 19th-century wax figures but also in the religious icons of medieval times.

Body Typed: media illusions of the perfect body (3 Film Package)

BODY TYPED is package of PBS & Sundance award-winning short films (& a new interactive website) that uses humor to raise serious questions about the marketplace of commercial illusion and unrealizable standards of physical perfection.

3 Short Films help educators start important conversations about body image, media, and self-esteem.

- Wet Dreams and False Images (Winner: Sundance Film Festival, ALA/ YALSA Award)

- The Guarantee (Best Short Film - Newport International Film Festival)

- 34x25x36 (National PBS Broadcast on POV)

Plus DVD Extras Including the related New York Times Op-Doc "Sex, Lies and Photoshop"

Website with free media literacy/ photo retouching video game:


Wet Dreams and False Images

Part 1 of BODY TYPED

How do perfected images of female beauty effect how men see real women? And, how we see ourselves?

The Guarantee

Even serious documentaries can be funny. THE GUARANTEE is an illustrated documentarty using humor to examine cultural identity and body image.