Anna recently wrapped production on her second feature film, Destined to Ride, starring Madeline Carroll, Denise Richards, Nick Searcy and Cassi Thomson. Carroll plays a young woman who is forced to leave her friends and spend the summer on a remote ranch with her nature-loving aunt. Convinced her social life is over, she is surprised to meet an unlikely group of friends and embarks on an adventure of a lifetime. When her aunt is threatened by unfriendly neighbors, Lily knows it is up to her and Pistachio, the horse she has discovered an unbreakable bond with, to save the ranch and to find her destiny along the way. The horse adventure movie will be available everywhere on DVD and Digital Aug. 14th!
Anna's first feature film, Emma's Chance, starring Greer Grammer, Missi Pyle and Joey Lawrence 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. The film can be found on all streaming platforms, mostly recently added to the Hallmark Movie Collection.
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 is now used as an example on how to execute challenging scenes while keeping everyone safe, in the USC's safety seminar.
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.
Anna’s thriller script, Mormonland, made it into the second round of the Sundance Screenwriter's Lab. Most recently she adapted a book in the same vein as Moneyball and The Big Short called Zero Sum Game. She is in the process of writing another thriller, Grace, which she plans on directing later this year.
Anna holds an MFA from USC's School of Cinematic Arts and is the mother of four, where her eldest daughter will begin college next year.
Anna Elizabeth James
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MFA Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California