Jonathan Caouette // Director, Writer & Editor and Actor

“I consider all my films, both fiction and documentary, to be in a sense "true" stories of dreams. My goal is to make films that are also a happening, an encounter, a conversation; and a hopefully a beacon of emotional uplift.”

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Jonathan Caouette has been making films since he was 8 years old. Inspired by his relationship to his mentally ill mother, his debut feature film, Tarnation, premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and went on to the 2004 Cannes Film Festival: Director's Fortnight, followed by the Toronto, Chicago, New York, London, and Los Angeles Independent film festivals.

Jonathan directed, starred, and pieced together Tarnation on his iMac computer, using Apple's iMovie software. The film was executive produced by Gus Van Sant and John Cameron Mitchell. Part documentary, part narrative fiction, part home movie, and part acid trip, it is a psychedelic whirlwind of snapshots, Super-8 home movies, old answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, snippets of '80s pop culture, and dramatic reenactments that create an epic portrait of an American family travesty.

Distributed internationally by Wellspring Media, Tarnation won multiple awards across the world including, "Best Non Fiction" film from the National Society of Film Critics, Best Documentary at the London International Film Festival, the Stanley Kubrick Award at the Michael Moore Film Festival, as well as the Sutherland trophy at the London Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Los Angeles IFP/West Film Festival, and many others. It was also voted one of the American Film Institute's "Moments of Significance" of 2004. Following the success of Tarnation, Jonathan was invited by numerous prestigious universities and museums to give lectures about the film, including NYU, UCLA, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and to sit on numerous panels and juries at film festivals around the world. He is also a recent recipient of The Rockefeller Foundation's Media Arts Fellowship Award (2007).

Jonathan’s documentary All Tomorrows Parties (2009), about the "All Tomorrow's Parties" Festivals in England, was selected for seventeen international film festivals and won the LA Weekly's "Critics Pick" at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The film stars Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Belle And Sebastian, The Gossip, and Nick Cave. He is working on a screenplay entitled Everything Somewhere Else, based on the acclaimed surrealistic Spanish novel, Todo en otra parte. He is also in development for a film with writer David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Aida) and producer Howard Gertler (World’s Greatest Dad and Shortbus). Jonathan is also currently shooting a new documentary about severely traumatized children.

His latest short film, All Flowers in Time (2010) starring Chloë Sevigny, presents a mysterious and fantastical world where a Dutch television signal possesses young viewers, making them believe they can transform into other people or monsters. It will premier at the New York Film Festival in 2010, then go on to the London Film Festival and many others around the world. All Flowers in Time has begun its festival journey by winning the Grand Prix Canal+ for best short film at L’Étrange Festival in Paris.