Love Song’s Jess Kohl on Elevating Marginalized Voices

June 21, 2024

Love Song director Jess Kohl shares how she captures human stories from the fringes of society through her honest and impactful filmmaking.

Can you tell us about your own favourite projects, personal and commercial?
Of my own projects, the work that I’m most proud of is my short documentaries. The latest (and longest) one, A Mouthful of Petrol (2022), an observational documentary that follows 13-year-old Jaydee in the lead-up to his first full contact banger race, and Nirvana (2018), which follows Aaliyah and Chintu, two trans women living in Southern India, as they prepare to enter the beauty contest ‘Miss Koovagam.’

For commercial projects, the film we made with boxer Ryan Garcia for Gymshark was a highlight. I love boxing and had a lot of freedom to execute this how I wanted. Also From the Grounds Up for Nike, which focused on Hackney Wick FC, a grass-roots football club set up by ex-prisoner Bobby Kasanga. I’m always excited to work on projects around social issues that allow me to do more than just help sell a product.

I’ve also shot various Pride campaigns - we made a series of films for Unilever, portraits of diverse queers around the UK, and had a lot of creative freedom with casting and shooting, which was fun.

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