Hollywood NIFF

Black Sheep

Black Sheep
When a young girl with Tourette's encounters a struggling street performer on a city bus, a quirky and inspirational friendship is formed causing the world around them to alter in unexpected ways.
Director Biography - Jamie Sage Cotton
Jamie Cotton, also known as Sage, is a humorous and deeply personal storyteller who believes in the power of art to unite people and alleviate life’s challenges. Her creative range includes poetry, short stories, spoken word, and screenplays. Her new short film, “Black Sheep,” marked her entry into filmmaking. Hailing from Colorado’s mountains, Sage’s love for literature blossomed in her youth. She pursued studies in Religion and Social Justice at Saint Mary’s of Notre Dame, followed by a decade of diverse pursuits such as writing, acting, and modeling. Beginning with sharing poetry at open mics, she expanded her repertoire with a one-woman show focused on her journey of growth, self-discovery, and love. This show’s triumph propelled her into the lead role of “Girl Meets Girl,” a lesbian comedy, which she toured with extensively. She is currently focused on promoting “Black Sheep” and connecting with new collaborators as a screenwriter Director Statement I couldn't sleep one night and ended up watching a late-night news segment about a group of girls in a small Midwestern town who developed Tourette's Syndrome at the same time. The news segment focused on whether the girls were "faking it" and how to "fix them." I remember thinking, "Seriously? Who cares?" Why aren't we asking, "How do we accept and accommodate these young, vulnerable beings?" and "What might it be like to see each other's differences as interesting and essential?" I imagined these girls' jerky movements being turned into a dance or performance. I stayed up the rest of the night writing the first draft of the film. The resulting script is smart, witty, touching, and essentially depicts what I believe San Francisco is all about: a place where everyone can find acceptance. Pitching the idea to a film co-op gathered an enthusiastic volunteer crew. Chloe Jean Jarvis's song, "Black Sheep," fit perfectly, and she also ended up playing the lead role, Jasmine. After months of preparation, casting, storyboarding, and set building, I showed up for the first day of filming and literally cried at the enormity of what we had all created. The filming journey was delayed due to a new business venture and COVID-19. But after eight years, I'm proud and excited to share this sweet, quirky, unique story. This film represents one of my core beliefs: that each person’s uniqueness should not only be accepted but also celebrated. By being just as curious about the things that make us different as we are about ways to blend in, even something as socially awkward as Tourette’s can be a source of inspiration and connection Ratings