Jen McGowan is a director based in Los Angeles. Her recent feature film, the survival thriller, Rust Creek, was released in theaters by IFC Midnight, and hailed as “the feminist thriller Hollywood needs right now” by Harper’s Bazaar. When it dropped on Netflix, it premiered at #3 of all film & tv in the U.S. and stayed in the top ten for over a week. Rust Creek made the top ten on Netflix in 40 countries and was certified “fresh” 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.
McGowan’s first feature, the dramedy Kelly & Cal (Juliette Lewis & Cybill Shepherd), premiered at SXSW where she won the Gamechanger Award. The film was released theatrically by IFC Films to rave reviews (71% on Rotten Tomatoes). She got her start with award-winning short films, Confessions of a Late Bloomer and Touch, which played at over a hundred festivals worldwide winning the majority and qualifying for the Oscar.
In television, she has directed multiple episodes of Star Trek: Discovery for Secret Hideout/Paramount+ and Titans for HBOMax as well as episodes of The Twilight Zone for Monkeypaw/Paramount+ and The Purge for Blumhouse/USA. With her partner, Eliza Lee, she co-created the series, Angelica, about the last remaining abortion clinic in a small Midwest town, and Replica, the true story of a pair of unassuming high school teachers who after their deaths were discovered to have been prolific art thieves.
“As the writer, the inspiration for ‘On the Ride’ was always about finding connection and how we can even find it in some of the most unlikely places. We all go through our lives and journeys with our different histories and backgrounds, but we still struggle with similar themes of grief and loss. That loss makes us feel separated and alone. I wanted to give a glimpse into how the slightest of actions can help others in their lives and also create meaningful connections. We also never know how we can help others just by opening ourselves up and speaking our truth.”
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