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Local Doc-Maker Jesse Moss Heads to Sundance

Local doc. maker Jesse Moss on the set of his Sundance-premiering new film The Overnighters.

7x7 checks in with a member of the local film scene and takes their temperature. This week, we chat with SF-based film director Jesse Moss.

What do you do?

I'm a documentary filmmaker.  I'm 43, and I live in San Francisco, next to the Presidio.

How long have you lived in the Bay Area?

I've lived in the city for 2 years. I was born here in the city, grew up in Palo Alto, and then lived in New York for fifteen years, before moving back to the Bay Area.

What did you do before you worked in film?

I very briefly worked in politics in my early 20s, but have spent most of my adult life making films.

So… what are you working on?

I'm finishing The Overnighters, my new documentary. The film is about desperate, broken men chasing their dreams and running from their demons in the North Dakota oil field, and a local pastor who risks everything to help them. It's a modern-day "Grapes of Wrath" set in an oil boomtown.

The film will premiere at Sundance this January, in the documentary competition. I've spent the last two years working on the film, including many months of work in North Dakota, and a year editing the film here in San Francisco.

What do you like best about working in The Bay Area?

I love returning to the Bay Area after being gone for so long, and discovering how the city is both the same and wildly different from what I remember. I can walk to my office in the Presidio, which is an incredibly beautiful place to work. And I like getting to know the small, but extremely talented local filmmaking community.  

The Overnighters premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah later this week.