Interview: Jean Barker

Published On May 8, 2015 | Interviews

South African journalist Jean Barker’s dream of making movies in Hollywood is alive and in progress.

After a successful writing career as a journalist, feature writer and humour columnist in South Africa, Jean Barker left to pursue her long-delayed dream of becoming a filmmaker in the USA . She was the first and only student to earn double MFA in screenwriting and directing from top ten-ranked film school, Chapman University.

Jean made the short film Paradise Road in her hometown of Cape Town with producer Ashlin Simpson and cinematographer Jacques Koudstaal in 2012. The film played in South Africa at the Durban International Film Festival, and in Paris, France. Her sci-fi masters thesis film One More Day won her the prestigious Director’s Guild of America (DGA) Student Jury Award for Women Directors in 2014 and has screened at many top genre festivals throughout the USA, with more to follow.

Jean currently does script coverage work for consulting company, and writes and directs advertising content for She has also scripted a comic book Nkosazana for Emet Comics, plans to adapt it as an animated series, and has signed a deal with Memetic Films to write a feature based on the life of a famous female South African.  She has a webseries in the works, too.

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