Brunell Visiting Scholar – Eileen Jerrett

November 10th, 2014 Posted in Cover Story

Eileen JarrettEileen J. Jerrett ’01 is back on campus this fall. She is the artist-in-residence for TELC 210: Documentary Film Production, where she assists in teaching. Her visit is sponsored through The Robert H. Brunell Chair in the Humanities. While at CCC, Jerrett has held film screenings, brought in guest filmmakers for screenings and assisted in a master class on video production. She has also continued with her own documentary film work while providing public screenings as well as screenings for other colleges.

More recently, Eileen has been traveling for her project, The Blueberry Soup Outreach Tour. The project involved a yearlong nationwide screening and discussion series about her most recent work. Blueberry Soup, named for an Icelandic comfort soup, is a documentary on how Iceland changed the way we think about the world. Taking four years to complete, the extraordinary documentary is about the constitutional change in Iceland following the financial crisis of 2008; a not-well-known story of grassroots crowdsourced constitutionalism. The film is a deeply touching account of a concerned group of citizens reinventing democracy through the rewriting of the nation’s constitution. “If given a second chance, how does a nation rebuild?”

The Oswego County Weekly commented: “Eileen Jerrett, founder of WILMA’S WISH PRODUCTIONS, has been praised by critics for being a pioneer in a new mode of documentary filmmaking. Her unique approach has gained access to incredibly intimate and universally identifiable moments of humanity. Jerrett and her films give the audience a window into personal stories reserved only for those closest. Jerrett has set out to document stories that empower, delight, and humanize the viewer as well as the subject.”

Jerrett received dual degrees with a background in film and telecommunications production at CCC. She moved to Toronto to pursue her bachelor’s in film production at Ryerson University. At the university she also discovered her career path. “I had one documentary class and that was all I needed — that became my focus,” Eileen said.

Through the inspiration of her Grandmother Wilma Jerrett’s words — “The only thing I wish for all of you is to have the same kind of love in your life that I’ve been so lucky to have in mine. I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but it’s here in all of you.” — Eileen Jerrett knew that she was to go solo and start her own production company. She knew, too, that she would name it Wilma’s Wish Productions.

These photos document Eileen Jerrett’s journey in making Blueberry Soup, her Outreach Tour, and her time on the CCC Campus.

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