So Here’s What Happened with Jennifer Holness Director of ‘Subjects of Desire’

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Subjects of Desire Jennifer Holness

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On this episode of So Here’s What Happened podcast LaNeysha and Carolyn get the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Holness the director of Subjects of Desire. The documentary premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival in the Documentary Feature Competition. The 101-minute documentary is directed by Jennifer Holness, narrated by Garvia Bailey, produced by Holness and Sudz Sutherland. The film’s screenwriter is Holness, the cinematographers are Iris Ng and  Ricardo Diaz, and the editor is Lawrence Jackman. The other interviewees include Miss Black America contestants, notable musical artists such as India Arie and Jully Black, college professors, media personalities, and more.

Subjects of Desire is a feature documentary that examines North American beauty standards’ cultural shift towards embracing Black female aesthetics and features.  From society’s new fixation on the ‘booty,’ fuller lips, the dramatic rise of spray-tanned skin, ethnic hairstyles, and athletic bodies, some argue that Black women are having a beauty moment.

She was recently awarded the CMPA’s Indiescreen Established Producer of the year Award in recognition of her contribution to Canada’s film industry and her incredible career achievements. Jennifer who is passionate about Black Canadian History ( and redressing the lack of) is producing her first History Channel Series, BLK: An Origin Story.  She will serve as series showrunner and a director with partner Sudz Sutherland.

Jennifer has worked as a documentary filmmaker for nearly 20 years.  She is a co-producer of the feature doc, Stateless, with director Michele Stephenson (American Promise) for PBS’s The America Series and the National Film Board.  Stateless premiered digitally at Tribeca and at Hot Docs in 2020 where it won the festival’s Special Jury Prize, followed by a Best feature doc award at Black Star.  She is the Executive Producer of Maya Annik Bedward feature doc, Black Zombie, that is in production with CBC’s Doc Channel.

She was recently awarded the CMPA’s Indiescreen Established Producer of the year Award in recognition of her contribution to Canada’s film industry and her incredible career achievements. Jennifer has directed her first feature documentary, Subjects of Desire, about Black women and beauty.  The will have it’s world premiere at SXSW and it will air on TVO and Crave in Canada.

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