Sarah Jacobson

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Sarah Jacobson
Born(1971-08-25)August 25, 1971
Norwalk, Connecticut
DiedFebruary 13, 2004(2004-02-13) (aged 32)
New York City, New York
OccupationFilm producer, film director, screenwriter
Years active19932004

Sarah Jacobson (August 25, 1971, Norwalk, Connecticut – February 13, 2004 New York City) was an independent filmmaker who wrote, produced, and filmed her own movies.


In 1989 Sarah Jacobson graduated from Edina High School located in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.[1] Jacobson moved to San Francisco in 1991 to pursue a career as a film director.[2] After studying with George Kuchar, Jacobson began making her first film while in her early twenties. Jacobson's two major releases were I Was a Teenage Serial Killer and Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore. Both were well received at film festivals across North America such as the New York Underground Film Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival and Sundance. I Was a Teenage Serial Killer featured songs by Heavens to Betsy. She was listed in Spin Magazine as one of the "Top Influences on Girl Culture".[2]

Also outspoken in their praise were film critic Roger Ebert, filmmaker Allison Anders and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.[3] Ed Halter, writing in the Village Voice, considered I Was A Teenage Serial Killer,"...a key film of that decade's angrily subversive underground cinema."[4]

Sarah Jacobson was interviewed, reviewed and written about in such national publications as The New York Times, Village Voice, Spin, Bust and Film Threat among others.

Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore[edit]

Her novel and feature film Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore and the grassroots manner in which Jacobson promoted the film garnered her much recognition in her specific field. Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore starred Lisa Gerstein and Beth Roman Allen of the band The Loudmouths, whose music along with that of Babes In Toyland and Mudhoney, is featured in the film. Jello Biafra also appears in a cameo role. Film Threat Magazine, in its Film Threat Video Guide labelled it as one of the "25 Underground Films You Must See". Following the release of this film Jacobson directed videos for the bands Man or Astroman and Fluffy.

As a result of the success of her films, Jacobson was an important champion of the DIY approach to filmmaking and wrote for several publications, including Punk Planet, Grand Royal, San Francisco Bay Guardian and Indiewire on the topic. She was a contributor to the film zine, Joanie4Jackie, a project created by Miranda July to showcase women's independently made and DIY films. Jacobson was also a participant in DiY Fest, a do-it-yourself travelling film festival.


Jacobson had just completed writing the screenplay for her next film when she died from endometrial cancer in 2004, aged 32.


After her death, Marc Savlov wrote in the Austin Chronicle "There's no doubt in the minds of anyone...that she greatly helped stoke the flames of the guerilla and indie filmmaking movement while becoming a voice for grrrl-positive cineastes everywhere".


The Sarah Jacobson Film Grant was set up by Sarah’s longtime friend and collaborator filmmaker Sam Green and annually awards grants to young female directors. The Sarah Jacobson Papers are located in the Fales Library at New York University.



  1. ^ Sinagra, Laura (March 10, 2004). "Grrrl, Interrupted". City Pages.
  2. ^ a b Nelson, Rob (February 12, 1997). "Grrr-ella Filmmaking". City Pages. Retrieved August 12, 2012. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "citypages1997" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Sarah Jacobson Memorials". Filmmaker Magazine: Blog. 2004. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
  4. ^ Halter, Ed (2004). "Sarah Jacobson 1971-2004". Village Voice. Retrieved 2006-12-16.


  • Dixon, Wheeler Winston. The Second Century of Cinema: The Past and Future of the Moving Image (The Suny Series, Cultural Studies in Cinema/Video). State University of New York Press March 2000 ISBN 0-7914-4515-1

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