Anna recently wrapped production on her second feature film, Pistachio, starring Madeline Carroll, Denise Richards, Nick Searcy and Cassi Thomson. The story revolves around a young girl and her friend who team up against two local boys on an epic horseback riding adventure in the country. Denise plays a best-selling New Age author, who hosts her suburban niece over the summer on a Dr. Doolittle-esque ranch.
The horse adventure movie is currently in post-production and will be distributed through a major studio this summer.
Anna's first feature film, Emma's Chance, starring Greer Grammer, Missi Pyle and Joey Lawrence premiered at the Geena Davis Film Festival and was released through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on California’s real-life Red Bucket Equine Rescue, Grammer plays the fictional role of a young woman who saves an abused horse, named Chance, from the type of auction that ends at a horsemeat factory. Bullied in high school, Emma takes a liking to the abused horse while performing community service, and devises a scheme to put the predatory horse-buyer out of business. The film was translated into over 20 languages and climbed the iTunes chart to number 13 under Kids and Family, next to heavy hitters like Monster’s Inc. and Cars.
Anna's psychological thriller, Zone 2, starring Anne Ramsay and Conner Linnerooth, toured worldwide through the Etheria Film Festival, winning an audience award – while also screening at Screamfest, Days of the Dead and Artemis film festivals. The film can be found on the 7 From Etheria Collection, now streaming on Amazon.
Utilizing her writing skills as a pathway to directing, Anna sold her romantic comedy, I Do Over to David Ellison's Skydance Media (World War Z, Mission Impossible 5) making her a member of the WGA.
Anna's teen thriller, Haven’s Point, won Best Film at the USC's WCA Film Festival and premiered at HollyFest in Hollywood. The film was created through USC's competitive production class where only the top students are given the opportunity to direct. The short film is now used as an example in the school’s safety seminar on how to execute challenging scenes while keeping everyone safe.
Known as a pioneer in the industry for her iOS/iPhone filmmaking and distribution methods, Anna has been featured in WIRED Magazine, the New York Times, USA Today, and has spoken at TEDx, New York Apple Store, The Director’s Guild of America, and The Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences, showcasing these Studio In Your Pocket methods.
Most recently Anna’s thriller script, Mormonland, made it into the second round of the Sundance Screenwriter's Lab. She is currently adapting a book into a screenplay that is in the same vein as Moneyball and The Big Short.
Anna holds an MFA from USC's School of Cinematic Arts and is the mother of four, where her eldest daughter will begin college this year.
Anna Elizabeth James
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MFA Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California