Jessica Sharzer made her directorial feature debut with Speak, based on the acclaimed best-selling novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. The film premiered at Sundance in 2004 and was later simulcast on Lifetime and Showtime in an unprecedented network event. Speak was nominated for both a Writers Guild Award and a Directors Guild Award in 2005. Sharzer has written screenplays for Universal, Showtime, HBO Films, and Endgame Entertainment. In television, she wrote a one-hour drama pilot for FOX with Ashton Kutcher’s company Katalyst and a Nashville-set drama pilot for CBS. She has also directed Showtime’s acclaimed drama The L Word. Currently, Ms. Sharzer is completing Timber, based on the true story of activists Darryl Cherney and Judi Bari, for director Michael Apted. She is also attached to direct Cruddy, based on Lynda Barry’s cult novel, with Betty Thomas producing and Thomas Haden Church to star. Sharzer holds an MA in Russian Literature from Berkeley and an MFA in Film & Television from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her thesis film The Wormhole won various grants and awards including the Student Academy Award in 2002.
Jessica Sharzer was awarded a Production grant at NYU in 2001 for The Wormhole