Recipient of the Primetime Emmy® for Breaking News
Jesse began his filmmaking and journalism career producing, writing, directing, shooting and editing documentaries in Italy, England, the Caribbean and Central America. His subjects were U.S. based evangelical Christian missionary relief workers. Jesse covered the story in Costa Rica as the missionaries brought and distributed food, blankets and clothing to Nicaraguan war refugees who fled, leaving all their possessions behind, into the remote jungles along the Costa Rican border to escape the conflict. He documented U.S. doctors and dentists as they dispensed free treatment and medicine to many hundreds of the very poorest citizens of post war Managua, Nicaragua.
In March of 1982, as Jesse was filming the work of a U.S. missionary group Guatemala City, one of their members, Efrain Rios Montt, seized power after a military coup. Jesse covered the newly minted dictator as he traveled to visit government troops in the Guatemalan highlands to promote his “Rifles and Beans” anti-guerrilla campaign.
When the Los Angeles Riots erupted in April of 1992, the ABC National Network News bureau in Los Angeles hired Jesse to help with their riot coverage. He worked the story alongside Peter Jennings, Diane Sawyer, Ted Koppel, and national ABC news network producers to provide daily coverage of the riots for ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, Primetime Live, 20/20, and Nightline.
Jesse continued his career in national television through the mid 2000s and is credited on hundreds of national television news segments, long form documentaries, scripted entertainment shows and television specials watched by tens of millions of viewers on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, BBC, A&E, VH1, MTV, and beyond. His work has been recognized with a Primetime Breaking News Emmy® and several LA Area Emmy® nominations and awards. Currently Jesse is in production on two original documentary films (see below).
“GET the PICTURE?” (film teaser)
The Story of a Marin County Community Creating Mural Art to Welcome Refugees & Immigrants
Original Documentary Short Film Now in Production – CREDITS: Diane Wagner | Executive Producer, Jesse Gift | EP, Writer/Director, Camera, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects Editor | “Get the Picture” Original Music by Andre Pessis | Endless Frogs Music/ASCAP/Espy Music | Larry Batiste/Pure Delite Music (BMI)/adm.by BMG | Tony Lindsay/(LINDSEED MUSIC) ASCAP with Rico Nico
“RAMON RISING” (film teaser)
The Timely, Inspiring Story of Ramon Resa’s Journey from Child Farm Laborer to Doctor
Original Documentary Feature Film Now in Production – CREDITS: Diane Wagner | Executive Producer, Jesse Gift | EP, Writer/Director, Camera, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects Editor