Our Director

JODY JARESS  DIRECTOR / WRITER / PRODUCER

TRACES OF MEMORY is Jody's official debut as a Film Director, Screenwriter, and Producer.

Prior to TRACES OF MEMORY, Jody partnered up with Roger Tulces, a Private Investigator, to co-write an Action/Fantasy feature film titled, "Return of the Sacred" presently in pre-production, has ghost written on several other features, and credited as Script Consultant on Ulli Lommel's, "Absolute Evil...Final Exit" starring David Carradine in one of his very last films. Approached to write and/or direct a few other narrative shorts, Jody is presently collaborationg on a very tender story, (unlike the fierceness found in TRACES OF MEMORY) but still focuses on perception, individual reality... and truth.

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Jody has garnered several awards and accolades as a stage and film actress. But her most cherished award is having received the USO Pin for her years of entertaining our military troops as a dancer and a jazz and blues singer.

photo by Dani Brubaker

DIRECTOR STATEMENT

A MARAY & FRIENDS Production

starring MARAY AYRES and SARATOGA BALLANTINE

featuring DANIELA TORCHIA

Screenplay and Directed by JODY JARESS

Challenge to me is the best motivator and TRACES OF MEMORY was absolutely that… as well as an inspiration from the moment my friend Maray Ayres (General Hospital, Poe, ICarly... ) asked me to direct her and Saratoga Ballantine (Troupers, The Nutty Professor, Frasier... ) in a short film based on a one-act play they had recently performed. The two-character story was intriguing and the roles were an actor’s dream: tragic and meaty.

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After securing permission from the playwright, I proceeded to create the original story for film… over, and over again. Unfortunately, every draft became a feature film with flash-backs, a larger cast, and additional locations requiring a much larger budget than the 20 minute or less ULB short that was requested of me. Though it was not my intention to change the story's concept, that's exactly what transpired, and a very surreal psychological drama evolved. My personal interest in the thoughts we keep hidden within our minds, began influencing my writing and TRACES OF MEMORY, the short film came into existence.

There is nothing humorous about this frozen 'moment-in-time' film, except for a couple of unexpected chuckles delivered by my brilliant actors (whom I'm eternally grateful to for their fearless performances and complete trust in me); it ought to be a simple story of guilt and punishment: Truth versus Reality... the heart of the film,

but it may be considered Torment versus Survival.

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It would be such a mistake to presume to know another person's reality. We all tell ourselves a story of what we truly believe has happenedto, or around us. Unintentionally at times, we end up creating fabricated stories to make our relationship with ourselves and others, more comfortable than the facts of the truth… whatever that truth may be. What society calls "normal" and accepts as a way of living.

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But for some, memories of a recent event, or a lifetime of unhealthy recurrences are just too difficult, too degrading, or too devastatingly painful and fearful to accept.

So unknowingly, these individuals don't just tweak the truth a bit, they may create a new 'world' that they can live inside of in order to survive: Now.. their 'reality.' But more times than most of us realize, these scenarios have been created through a fractured mind full of disjointed delusions, hallucinations, and demons.

We created a private viewing for a few doctors of psychiatry, psychology, and life coaches. Most of their responses were bittersweet which alarmingly verified what our film demonstates. As they shared with us, some Ph.D's stated they had felt as if they'd been standing inside the tormented minds of their (schizophrenic) patients.

All found Traces of Memory quite intriguing with a few asking to see it again.

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So, I wonder, whose reality becomes the truth? And can we ever be certain of what is truly real?

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TRACES OF MEMORY was created as entertainment for those loving psychological-dramas.But it does however, pose a real concern about mental health as ones life continues on... in one way... or another.   – Jody Jaress, Director / Writer

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10 Festivals

8 WINS

Traces of Memory the film "Nothing can help you or hurt you as much as the thoughts you carry in your own head."

"This film makes me feel like I'm standing inside the mind of my patients."    - Dr. Lynda Chassler, Psychologist, PhD

"Intriguing. Completely held my interest."     - Dr. Ben D. Gellman, Psychologist, PhD

A MARAY & FRIENDS Production

starring MARAY AYRES and SARATOGA BALLANTINE

featuring DANIELA TORCHIA

Screenplay and Directed by JODY JARESS

10 Festivals

8 WINS