|Producers||Kira Simon-Kennedy, Nathan Truesdell|
Ascension examines the contemporary “Chinese Dream” through staggering observations of labor, consumerism and wealth. In cinematically exploring the aspiration that drives today’s People’s Republic of China, the film plunges into universal paradoxes of economic progress.
About The Team
Jessica Kingdon (Director, Cinematographer, Editor) is a Chinese-American director/producer named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine, as well as one of DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40. Her award-winning short Commodity City shot in Yiwu, China was shortlisted for a Cinema Eye Honor and played at over 50 film festivals. Her upcoming feature documentary Ascension (previously Untitled PRC Project) has received support from organizations including SFFILM, Chicken & Egg, Sundance, Field of Vision, and Firelight Media. She co-directed It’s Coming! (2020), a Vimeo-Staff Pick with support by Rooftop Films, and Routine Island (2019), included in the Eyeslicer Season 2. She is a Film Independent Fellow and was selected for the Artist Academy at the New York Film Festival. Producer credits include Born to Be (NYFF 2019), The Water Slide (True/False in 2018), and Old Stone (Berlinale 2016). She is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.
Kira Simon-Kennedy (Producer) is the co-founder & director of China Residencies, a multifaceted arts nonprofit that has supported over 70 different international creative exchanges to China since its inception in 2013. She is currently a fellow at NEW INC, the New Museum’s incubator for art, design & technology, as well as the IFP Made in NY Media Center, creating Rivet, a platform to connect creative people with opportunities worldwide. Her first feature film a producer, Days of Gray, live-scored by the Icelandic orchestral band Hjaltalin, played festivals worldwide in 2013. She has produced over 50 short documentaries about China’s underground music scene for the Beijing-based record label Modern Sky, and is producing a documentary series for the British Council on the creative scenes in China’s 2nd and 3rd tier cities. Kira produced Jessica’s award-winning short documentary Commodity City, and splits her time between China, France, and the US.
Nathan Truesdell (Producer, Cinematographer) has over a decade of documentary experience and was selected for the inaugural DOC NYC 40 Under 40 list. His directorial work includes the award-winning Balloonfest, The Water Slide, the Field of Vision produced series The Art of Making Money and It’s Coming! He was the camera department head for the HBO series How to with John Wilson (2020). Truesdell was the main cinematographer on Speaking is Difficult and a producer of Peace in the Valley, both premiering in the shorts competition at Sundance 2016. He has produced documentaries such as We Always Lie to Strangers (SXSW, 2013), Caucus (Hot Docs, 2013), and Convention (LAFF, 2010), and co-produced The Gospel of Eureka (SXSW, 2018). Truesdell was DOP for the Al Jazeera America series Midterms. He was a cinematographer on Deprogrammed (Tribeca, 2015) and was a cinematographer and editor on Killing Them Safely (Tribeca, 2015). He also served as art director for the narrative film You’re Next (TIFF, 2011).
Ascension is a Cinereach grantee.