Jeanne Stern creates bizarre cinematic worlds using a hybrid of animation and puppetry. Her work has screened internationally at venues including the Smithsonian, Heather Henson's "Handmade Puppet Dreams," South by Southwest, PBS, Berlin’s Werk-Raum Gallery, the Toronto Film Festival, Savannah College of Art and Design, Athens Video Art Festival, Moving Things Festival in Capetown South Africa, and UMIMA World Puppet Day in New Delhi India. She animated Ruth Fertig’s documentary “Yizkor,” which won the Student Academy Award Gold Prize for Documentary, and the CINE Gold Eagle Prize in 2010.
Jeanne's work combines elements of playfulness with darker undercurrents. Her body of work includes films such as Sophie's Story, a symbolic tale about loss through the metaphor of a mermaid, Les Malaventures de Zut-Alors about a pair of conjoined twins each searching for their "other half," Sprout in which a kitchen floods and is taken over by jungle, and The Museum of Touch & Feel a stereoscopic film about a fictitious museum where people would touch the art instead of looking at it. Each project has its own unique materiality and rules of motion that create the world of the story. For example, in "Sophie's Story," the motion in each scene is controlled by water. These films consist of simplified forms and systems of motion that are transparent to the viewer.
Jeanne has worked as a 2D Animator or Director of Animation on projects including Ruth Fertig's documentary "Yizkor," “Cooks Pine Mountain” a music video for Joe Stickley’s Blueprint, G-dcast (a Jewish educational series), animated short film produced by Toronto-based Fox-Gieg Productions, and educational videos for Ignite Learning.
In the summer of 2011 Jeanne taught a class on Experimental Animation in Porto, Portugal as part of the collaboration between the University of Texas and the University of Portugal. She also teaches courses in animation at the Austin School of Film.
In 2009 Jeanne completed an Artist Residency at the Elsewhere Artist Collective in Greensboro NC where she focused on creating miniature spaces for stereoscopic photography and stop-motion animation while living in an old antique store. This stereoscopic work culminated in a solo show, “Shadow Tiger” at the Texas State Art Gallery in San Marcos. In 2008 Jeanne received a commission and residency from the Connecticut College Department of Arts & Technology for which she and collaborator Erich Ragsdale created a short stereoscopic film.
Jeanne has her MFA in Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and her BA in Studio Art and Computer Science from Connecticut College. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Jeanne currently lives in Austin, Texas.