Four months after the successful premiere of her first feature film, Hidden Assets, Palm Beach based director Jacqueline Journey, talks to Art Film File about the exciting but nerve wrecking experience of the Marche du Film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and the role of female directors in today’s film industry.
Local and international film festivals, are a one of a kind opportunity for indie film directors, particularly for those who are premiering their first film. Many directors such as Joel and Ethan Cohen, Steven Soderbergh, and Robert Rodriguez have debuted and launched their directorial careers, thanks in part to their participation in the Sundance Film Festival. This isn’t less true for smaller, and perhaps less celebrity inundated festivals, such as the Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBIFF), held in Palm Beach, Florida between March and April each year.
Jacqueline Journey, is the multi-faceted director, actress and writer of the American award-winning thriller, Hidden Assets. Journey breathes life into Ava Town, a determined and confident woman, whose hard earned money is stolen by her husband, while simultaneously abandoning her for a younger woman. Town seeks the services of P.I. Grady, a burned-out ex- cop, whose life has also been struck by personal tragedy, to help her recover what was stolen from her. However, the plot is filled with innumerable twists and turns, in the best tradition of film noir.
Journey’s film was very successful at PBIFF, screening to sell out crowds and obtaining positive reviews. This was particularly meaningful to Journey, who after years of working on and off screen in the television industry, and as V.P. and Executive Producer of ME Television in Austin, Texas, managed to direct Hidden Assets with a miniscule budget, and exclusively hiring South Florida talent.
Journey credits director Alfred Hitchcock as a strong influence for her, which went into Hidden Assets. “When I saw Dial M For Murder for the first time, I was mesmerized” Journey said. “I immediately started to think, you know, what would happen if it was the wife, instead of the husband, hiring a hit man? It would have been a completely different story, and I think that’s what influenced me the most when writing Hidden Assets” she affirmed.
Journey admits that the experience of having her feature at the huge film market in Cannes, the Marche Du Film, was “great, but incredibly hard on the nerves”. Being primarily a market for distributors looking for films to purchase, it is very common to see people continuously darting in and out of a film. This amazed Journey, because she wanted audiences to enjoy the whole experience of the many twists in Hidden Assets. “I didn’t really understand how they could do that.” Journey said. “I kept thinking “you’re not going to get the feel of the film if you just see the last half hour of it”, but I realized they weren’t there to watch the films. They were there to get a general feel of what the film was about, to see if it was what they’re looking for. It was baffling for me”, she admitted.
When asked about the role of women in the film industry, Journey is quick to state that the industry seems to be changing for the better, but that women have to be main promoters of their work. “Even if you have to pretend a little, you know, to be more confident than what you really are, do it”, she said. “Women are strong, we can stand more pain than any man, any day. We have to help each other, build each other up, and very often, that doesn’t happen because of fear of competition. I think that’s what hurts us the most”, she concluded.
Journey is currently working on a variety of new projects, including a new script based on a true crime story which took place in South Florida, and a book that is a sort of self-help guide for career women, based on Journey’s extensive experience in the entertainment industry, and in managing her own production company, Journey Entertainment.
CLICK HERE to check out the Hidden Assets trailer: