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WEST CITY FILMS

Filmmakers Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan are creators of acclaimed documentaries, dramas, spots and new media.

Our award-winning work is produced for theatrical release, TV networks & streaming services, corporations, museums and the web.

OUR AWARDS INCLUDE

awards wreathAcademy Award Nomination
awards wreathSundance Grand Jury Prize & Audience Award
awards wreathEmmy Awards & Nominations
awards wreathGeorge Foster Peabody Award
awards wreathThe Prix Italia
awards wreathDirectors Guild Nominee

SELECTED WORK

Looking Forward film poster w/laurels

LOOKING FORWARD

A new short on living in a time of anxiety.

“A brilliant look at life.” – Unseen Films

Our Towns Film - poster

OUR TOWNS

Our latest feature. With James and Deborah Fallows.

“Eloquent… intimate… revealing.” documentary.
– The Wall Street Journal

The Filmmaker's Handbook - cover

THE FILMMAKER’S HANDBOOK

Bestselling filmmaking text.
“The bible – updated.” – The Independent

Troublesome Creek film poster

TROUBLESOME CREEK

The Jordan family’s strategy to save their Iowa farm.

“Superb!” – Rolling Stone

Seduction Theory Poster

SEDUCTION THEORY

A dark comedy about sex, lies and Freud.

“So funny, so smart, so ingeniously constructed.” – Guy Maddin

Cory Not Promised film poster

CORY NOT PROMISED

What remains after a shooting.

Raising Renee film - poster

RAISING RENEE

Artist Beverly McIver and her promise to take her 45-year old sister, who is mentally disabled, when their mother dies.

“Fascinating… Deeply moving.” – About.com

So Much So Fast film - poster

SO MUCH SO FAST

Remarkable events set in motion when Stephen Heywood discovers he has ALS.

“Gripping, intimate, complex and dramatic.” – Sundance Insider

A woman's place film

A WOMAN’S PLACE

Challenges of women in business as seen through 50 years of women at Harvard Business School.

IDA logo

DOCUMENTARY MAGAZINE

Our essay for @IDAorg Magazine about trust and control of story between filmmakers and subjects.


NEWS

Thumbnail - Steven Ascher at Documentary Storytelling Lab - Vietnam

STORYTELLING LABS –
VIETNAM

Steve led Documentary Storytelling labs in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with talented Vietnamese filmmakers.

Looking Forward film by Steven Ascher

LOOKING FORWARD

Steve’s new short film premiered at DOC NYC and won Best Experimental at Toronto Intl. Shorts Festival.

“One of the best shorts at DOC NYC. I was entranced. A brilliant look at life.” Unseen Films

Our Towns Film

OUR TOWNS

The film was selected for the American Film Showcase, a joint program of the U.S. State Department and USC that organizes screenings and workshops in more than 60 countries around the world.

We’re thrilled that OUR TOWNS is starting conversations about renewal in Kiev, Ukraine; Abuja, Nigeria; Quito, Ecuador and other cities.


The Filmmaker's Handbook - bestseller on Amazon

THE FILMMAKER’S HANDBOOK

Hits #1 film book on Amazon! Very happy that the book is supporting a new generation of makers!

Expanded 5th edition (2019) available in stores and online. Supports how we make films today, with new methods and new technologies.

“A must-have for aspiring filmmakers” says No Film School.

Troublesome Creek Film

TROUBLESOME CREEK

We’re not getting any younger, but sometimes our films are. Newly remastered version available on Vimeo on Demand. Made from a 4k scan of the original negative, the film has never looked better in digital!

Garth Evans sculpture

THE CARDIFF TAPES

We’re executive producing a new project on British sculptor Garth Evans. Recently received funding from the LEF Foundation.

Hold Your Fire film by Stefan Forbes

HOLD YOUR FIRE

Stefan Forbes’ film about a watershed event in how police handle hostage situations was nominated for an Emmy and won Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC. Named one of the best films of 2022 by The New York Times.

We’re proud to have served as story/editing advisers. See it!

Eyes on the Prize icon

EYES ON THE PRIZE

The New York Times highlights the best series in PBS history, including Eyes on the Prize — two episodes edited by Jeanne Jordan, “covering the years 1954 to 1965, aired in 1987, winning wide acclaim.”

Deej film

DEEJ

Wins Peabody Award!
Congratulations to Rob Rooy, DJ Savarese, co-producer Anne de Mare, and editor James Rutenbeck. Proud executive producers: Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher.

Steven Ascher - Filmmaker

STEVEN ASCHER

Receives the Thomas Hoopes Prize from Harvard University for “excellence in the art of teaching.”

Seduction Theory film thumb

SEDUCTION THEORY

Nice Boston Globe piece prior to sold-out Seduction Theory screening at Coolidge Corner Theatre.

JEANNE JORDAN

Moderated the Editing Masterclass at DOC NYC.

Troublesome Creek Film

TROUBLESOME CREEK

Paul Byrnes, film critic and former director of the Sydney Film Festival on the impact of Troublesome Creek in Australia, and vice versa.


ABOUT US

“Dedicated filmmakers with an uncanny eye for capturing drama in the most commonplace activities.”    
  John Cooper, Sundance Film Festival

“Ascher and Jordan’s films are consistently thoughtful and moving, deeply committed, and resonant with craft: their considerable gifts as filmmakers include their ability to make what is complex and difficult to film and edit seem easy.”  Scott MacDonald, American Ethnographic Film and Personal Documentary

“Oh, my God! — Seduction Theory is so great! So funny, so smart, so ingeniously constructed, so packed!  I love the range of gags and the sheer amount of honesty in the writing. It’s rather incredible how much emotional diversity you get in this film, how lived-in and detailed the characters are. Beautifully acted and shot, too — this really has it all. The film achieves something perfect when gets you laughing while you have a lump in your throat.”   Guy Maddin, Director

“Count the great short films on your fingers. The usual mistake is that they are too ambitious for the brief length, but what if the ambition actually succeeds? I am jubilant about Steven Ascher’s extraordinary Seduction Theory, 20 minutes of jam-packed fictionalized autobiography based on his childhood as the bed-wetting son of an abrasive, egotistic, very famous Freudian psychoanalyst. The story is immediately compelling, and the unusual way it is told is even better, gorgeously shot by Stephen McCarthy, beautifully edited by Jeanne Jordan, and with acting almost shockingly good. A wise work, and such a pleasurable work. And funny!”   Gerald Peary, Film Critic

“If you think you know it all, The Filmmaker’s Handbook will prove you wrong.  It is both teacher and reference manual. For those of us with a passion for making movies, it will become a constant companion. It is the most comprehensive book about film making that I have ever encountered. It wasn’t written in a hurry, it was written with the wisdom of a born teacher possessing a fountain of knowledge that only comes with years of experience. It is a truly impressive work, accomplished with aplomb.”   – Amazon Review

“I dare every filmmaker to read any pages of your choice from The Filmmaker’s Handbook  and you will find at least five things you didn’t know about filmmaking in your life. TRULY A BIBLE.”   – MOVIE GEEK

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