Kristi Jacobson- Founder; Director/Producer
Kristi Jacobson is an award-winning director and producer of non-fiction films and television whose work has been presented nationally and internationally, both in theaters and on networks including HBO, PBS, Channel Four/UK, ESPN, ABC, CSB, A&E and Lifetime. Her work has premiered at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, and has been featured in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Men’s Vogue, Filmmaker Magazine, Time Magazine and many others.
Jacobson’s most recent film, A Place at the Table, produced by Participant Media, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures in early 2013. A Place at the Table examines the shocking paradox of hunger in the wealthiest nation on earth, through the stories of three Americans who face food insecurity daily. The film features original music by Grammy award winning indie-folk duo The Civil Wars and Grammy – and Oscar – winning producer/composer T Bone Burnett. A Place at the Table has screened at numerous US festivals and recently won the “Stand Up” Audience Award at the Cleveland International Film Festival.
Jacobson’s 2007 film, TOOTS, a portrait of larger-than-life New York saloonkeeper and personality Toots Shor, garnered several nominations and awards, including the ‘National Board of Review’s Top Documentary Award’ following its critically acclaimed theatrical release in 2007. Called “one of the most compelling, yet forgotten stories of the 20th Century” by journalist Walter Cronkite, TOOTS was selected as a critics’ pick by The New York Times, The New York Post and New York Magazine and features interviews with some of America’s most accomplished journalists, athletes and sports writers (among them Cronkite, Mike Wallace, Frank Gifford, Whitey Ford, Pete Hamill, Nick Pileggi, Gay Talese). The New York Times called it “a first-rate portrait … a rare exception. Cheers to Ms. Jacobson for keeping alive the memory of New York’s golden era, and a man who embodied it.”
Prior to founding Catalyst Films in 2004, Jacobson collaborated with two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple on several films, including American Standoff, which Jacobson directed and Kopple produced. Kenneth Turan of the LA Times called American Standoff, “deeply human…surprisingly heartbreaking...” The film, examining the role of unions in modern times and the legacy of Jimmy Hoffa, premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO’s award-winning “America Undercover” series later that year. Other films produced and/or directed with Kopple include the Voices of Courage; Award-winning documentary Defending Our Daughters, an investigation into women’s human rights abuses in Bosnia, Pakistan and Egypt, broadcast on Lifetime Television; Justice for All? a short documentary exploring the issue of immigration law made for the Alliance for Justice.
For television Jacobson has tackled a wide range of subjects, including violence against women, HIV and AIDS, and the extreme sport of BASE jumping. Among her television credits are: Colonial House (PBS), which received an Emmy nomination and was winner of 6 Cine Golden Eagle Awards; Together: Stop Violence Against Women (Lifetime), Tanya Tucker: Country Rebel (A&E Biography); Sex, Drugs and Consequences hosted by Barbara Walters (ABC Television); E:60 (ESPN).
Jacobson also directs commercials and web content for a variety of clients including The US Holocaust Memorial Museum and DeSantis Breindel.
Jacobson, based in New York, is a member of the Directors Guild of America, New York Women in Film and Television and was a 2009 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Duke University, where she studied sociology.