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Eliza Smiles

Eliza Smiles takes an observational lens into the uniquely crafted life of a vegan, lesbian, feminist stripper. Filmed during a point of psychological transformation in life of one person, themes of identity, choice, and passion swirl throughout with a reflective, avant-garde tone.

Filmed and directed in a naturalist style completely unscripted. An original score was created and recorded by Philadelphia based underground band Noise & Silence.

  • Steven Jon
    Confessions of a Curious Bookseller
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Avant-Garde, Observational
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 25, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Steven Jon

Steven Jon is a Director, Cinematographer, Photographer, and Founder of the art label OH YEAH COOL.

Steven has created non-fiction and live music projects with Grammy nominated artists ERIC ROBERSON, BEN O’NEILL, and Emmy Award winning musical director ADAM BLACKSTONE.

Steven’s projects include co-creating and directing the docu-series FAMILY TO THE RESCUE, author Lee Bacon’s BE NICE TO YOUR DEVICE by ABRAMS PUBLISHING, CONFESSIONS OF A CURIOUS BOOKSELLER, a short film based on the novel by author ELIZABETH GREEN for LAKE UNION PUBLISHING and AMAZON.

During quarantine, Steven spearheaded creative collaborations in response to this historic moment in time. UNGOVERNED TRANSFORMATIONS, a series of photograph visualizers with images taken both by himself and a few select photographers in Philadelphia, Jersey City, and New York City, set to original improvised music by BEN O’NEILL, was released in May to benefit Broad Street Ministry in Philly. CORONALAND is a photographic zine documenting the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City, featuring images by photographers living in the city.

Steven resides in Historic New Castle, DE, with his partner and cat.

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Director Statement

Making Eliza Smiles has been a process of love over the past two years. My desire was to expand and challenge the way people apply broad generalizations those who carry labels different than ours. Elizas' openness allowed for an intimate filming experience where nothing was off limits.

Creating this film has been a personally transformative experience, expanding my own understanding of my sexuality, and unconscious ways I’ve depended on external validation to feel loved. Eliza continues to inspire me to embrace my authentic self, and I hope this film encourages viewers to do the same.