Director Biography – Jill D’Agnenica (A DOG’S STORY)

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Jill D’Agnenica is an award winning filmmaker and visual artist working in Los Angeles as a director and editor. She’s had the pleasure of editing drama series including How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), Lucifer (Fox), Pretty Little Liars (Freeform), Stitchers (Freeform), Switched at Birth (Freeform), Undercovers (NBC), Hollywood Heights (Nickelodeon), Dirt (FX), and The Division (Lifetime). Jill made her television directorial debut on Freeform’s Switched at Birth in 2017.

The Los Angeles Times called Life Inside Out (Jill’s first feature film) “a gentle, poignant drama whose heart and head are squarely in the right place” with “tender direction by Jill D’Agnenica.” Life Inside Out premiered at the 2013 Heartland Film Festival where it won both the Crystal Heart Award for Narrative Feature and Best Premiere. It went on to be screened at 21 festivals, receiving 16 awards, including 5 Best Feature and 4 Audience Awards. After a limited theatrical run, it now streams on AmazonPrime.

Jill holds a BA in history from UCLA and an MFA in Visual Art from Claremont Graduate University. She is a member Film Independent, Film Fatales, the Motion Picture Editors Guild and the Directors Guild of America.

With her myriad of experiences as a director, editor, and producer on music videos, PSAs, indie shorts and features, Jill enjoys opportunities to contribute as a guest lecturer, panelist, and mentor to fellow filmmakers and artists.

Director Statement

“A Dog’s Story” had its genesis with a series of humorous sculptures that my friend and frequent collaborator, artist Margaret Adachi, did of unhappy and angry pooches in dead end jobs. Like all of her various animal sculptures, they were anthropomorphized stand-ins for Margaret, this time aged out of work life and feeling irrelevant.

I call her “Margaret Adachi: Genius” because she is so, so quirky and funny and smart. I asked Margaret to write a back story for one of her sculptures which became the narrative for “A Dog’s Story” and together with our friend and collaborator, cinematographer Guido Frenzel, we hatched a plan for how we wanted to portray that story in film, landing on the character of The Dog giving a slide lecture, like a Ted Talk.

Guido wanted to shoot the entire movie with a 50mm lens “like Ozu” and the one-walled set I built in my studio had just enough room for him to get the wide shot we wanted.

We had a blast, setting up and shooting in one long night, laughing and chatting through each of the shots, since I decided to record all the sound in post.

I knew hitting the right tone with music would be absolutely essential to the telling of the story and also no small feat. To our absolute great good fortune, musician Goh Nakamura agreed to compose the score for the movie and it is perfection.

I am delighted that my friends and I got to play together to create “A Dog’s Story.”

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