Deep Reverence

The same depth that provokes fear can also gently birth new beginnings by cleansing past traumas.

  • Jenise Whitehead
  • Jenise Whitehead
  • Reuben Bernardo Tietz
  • Peri Michael
  • Zari Alisha Rose
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 16, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    10,450 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - American Film Institute
Director Biography - Jenise Whitehead

Born in Nashville and raised in South Los Angeles, Jenise Whitehead has always found comfort in the arts for self-expression. Learning oil painting and jazz in Leimert Park was pivotal to planting the seed that would later bloom into a passion for still photography and travel; and soon after, cinematography.

Jenise Whitehead earned a BA Spanish from San Francisco State University after studying abroad in la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Upon her graduation, she co-directed Gideon's Cross in Outfest Los Angeles’ OutSet program. The film screened at Outfest Fusion, Outfest LA, Outfest Santo Domingo, Outfest LA Online by DirecTV, Models of Pride, as well as private screenings at APA Agency and Pacific Theatres at The Grove.

She then trained in Panavision Hollywood’s two-year program and joined IATSE International Cinematographers Guild Local 600. After spending the past few years furthering her craft while crewing on award-winning shows such as Insecure, Unbelievable, Gentefied, Diary of a Future President, Waffles + Mochi, Young Sheldon, in addition to many other productions, she was invited to participate in American Film Institute's inaugural Cinematography Intensive for Women. Recently, Jenise Whitehead earned her MFA Cinematography at the American Film Institute where she was awarded the Perenchio Family Endowed Scholarship as well as the Tom Yoda Scholarship in recognition of her potential as a storyteller.

As a director and cinematographer, Jenise intends to lens stories that examine the intersection of identities often marginalized in society; to humanize experiences that have yet to be fully explored in cinema.

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Director Statement

The fear I had of deep water was inherited after my mother experienced a near-drowning incident in her childhood, thus I wasn't allowed near water that wasn't shallow throughout my childhood as her greatest fear was being unable to save me since swimming lessons weren't as accessible as all of our other extracurriculars. I didn't learn how to swim formally until my mid-20s and have recently become acquainted with open-water swimming via surf lessons - reclaiming my ancestral space amongst the waves and allowing myself to become fully immersed in the sea. The joy I felt riding the waves overcame my fear of drowning, as you must submit to the tide instead of fighting against it, in order to make it back safely to shore. The greatest lesson I've learned yet is never to turn your back away from the ocean, while you're in it, with respect to the damage mother nature can achieve within a split second. Although my swimming journey is not new, it is still not over as I have yet to conquer my fears of deep water in open water - without a life vest.