Enterprise Documentary Fund Grantee

Ernie & Joe (working title)

Jenifer McShane
Jenifer McShane

Ernie & Joe follows two police officers with the San Antonio Police Department's Mental Health Unit who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment, one 911 call at a time. In the process, they are redefining not only policing and its mandate to “keep people safe,” but also transforming the ways in which law enforcement agencies across the U.S. think about, approach and help those who suffer from a mental health diagnosis.

Jenifer McShane, Director/Producer

JENIFER MCSHANE is an independent filmmaker committed to using film to bridge understanding in situations where structural, organizational, cultural or religious divisions typically keep people apart. She spent nearly five years visiting the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility to make her most recent documentary, Mothers of Bedford (Hot Docs Film Festival, 2011), which reveals the impact of incarceration on jailed mothers and their children. Winner of the 2013 Director’s Award at the Social Justice Film Festival, selected by the U.S. State Department’s 2014 American Film Showcase to tour internationally, and broadcast on PBS stations nationwide as part of the America ReFramed documentary series, it has gone on to promote thoughtful dialogue about the importance of family connections—despite jail— through community and campus screenings nationwide. Jenifer’s first film, A Leap of Faith (Sundance Film Festival, 1996), which follows a group of parents in Belfast, Northern Ireland as they open an integrated school for Catholic and Protestant children was narrated by Liam Neeson, broadcast on PBS, and screened broadly on European television. Jenifer began her career in the CBS News Election Unit, has directed segments for the Sesame Workshop, and is former U.S. Executive Director of the Irish non-profit Co-operation Ireland.