In March 2013 he completed his debut feature film Calloused Hands. Based loosely on his own life, it tells the story of 12-year-old Josh, a mixed race boy growing up in Miami who lives under the oppressive weight of his abusive step-father. He manages to forge his own path in life when his estranged grandfather insists he study for his Bar Mitzvah.
Calloused Hands stars Andre Royo (HBO's The Wire), Daisy Haggard (Showtime's Episodes), and Hans Howes (There Will Be Blood). It premiered at the Miami International Film Festival, and has gone on to screen in over 20 festivals around the world, picking up numerous awards. It was picked up by Kino Lorber and received its North American release in March 2014.
Jesse is currently developing his next feature film Cagefighter, a British set sports drama. He is also developing feature film El Mar with Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta, as well as TV series The Beat with Hillbilly Films.
Jesse is a recipient of the 2011 All Roads Seeds Grant from National Geographic for his upcoming documentary Shoeshine Girls of Bolivia. Shoeshine Girls was selected to the 2011 Berlinale Talent Campus and was also awarded a Channel 4 grant, and a grant from the Commonwealth Broadcast Association as was his award-winning documentary The Cable, shot in Colombia. In 2010 he was commissioned by Current TV to make the hard-hitting investigative documentary Vigilante Britain, exploring the rise of vigilantism in Britain. In 2009 he made Surviving History, telling the story of seven Lithuanian Holocaust survivors. This won several awards including 2nd Runner Up for Best Documentary at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, the Audience Poll at the Imperial War Museum Film Festival, and a prize at the Winton Train Film Contest.
Jesse is an alumni of many labs and fellowships including the SOS Writing Scheme, BBC Writers Festival Skylight Scheme, Berlinale Talent Campus, HBO sponsored NALIP Latino Writers Lab, NALIP Latino Producers Academy, BBC Writers Room, B3 Media Talent Lab, Royal Court Young Writers Programme, and the Soho Theatre Writers Attachment Programme. Jesse is represented by Andrea Farrena at Farrena Films Management for TV and Film and by Irresistible Films for Commericals.
Jesse has experience working in shorts, documentaries, features, and theatre. He is very open to commissions either as a writer or director.