Jonathan Kesselman is an award winning filmmaker and writer 

Jonathan launched his career writing and directing ‘The Hebrew Hammer’ in 2003 to international acclaim with its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It later played a number of international festivals before being picked up for theatrical distribution (Hanukkah 2003) by Strand Releasing in conjunction with Comedy Central and Paramount Home Video.  Voted among the top holiday movies by the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Boston Globe and Time Magazine, the ‘Hebrew Hammer’ was aired on Comedy Central for five years after the television rights were sold to the major cable network. Moment Magazine included ‘Hebrew Hammer’ among its’ Top 100 Most Influential Films in the History of Jewish Cinema. Among others in the list were ‘The Graduate’, ‘Schindler’s List’ and ‘Annie Hall’.

Jonathan’s second feature film ‘Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero’ starring Maz Jobrani and John Heard, had its world premiere at the 2014 Austin Film Festival, where it won the Comedy Vanguard award as well as the Audience Award. Jimmy was released theatrically in the US on May 13, 2016, and ran for five months across the country. Jimmy has been picked up for distribution around the world and can currently be seen on Showtime.

Jonathan wrote and directed second Unit for Oscar-winning director Ang Lee on the film, ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,’ which opened nationwide on November 11, 2016, and was the show runner on ‘Gander,’ a fact-based comedy starring: Russell Peters, Lewis Black, Jay Mohr, Rachel Dratch, Oscar Nunez, Maz Jobrani, Adam Goldberg, Colton Dunn, John Fugelsang, and Bonnie McFarlane. Most recently, Jonathan co-wrote, directed, produced and edited the TV pilot, ‘Compound Fractures,’ starring George Wendt (‘Cheers’), Adam Busch (‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’), and Iris Bahr (‘Curb Your Enthusiasm, Svetlana).

Jonathan has been a screenwriter for: Fox, Paramount, Nickelodeon, Disney, Disney XD, Sony, Blue Sky Animation, MTV, Comedy Central studios, the Irish Film Board, and WWE (yes, it’s fake). Jonathan also works as a commercial director with such clients as Google, Nintendo, Renault, Red Mango, Canon, Irish Rail, DDB RX, American Media Inc., and the Mr. Olympia contest. Ironically, Jonathan taught ‘Writing Comedy for Film and Television’ at Yale University while concurrently acting as the humor columnist for the alternative goth-porn site Suicide Girls. Jonathan has also lectured at: The School of Visual Arts in NYC, The Los Angeles Film School, California State University Northridge, Pulse College (Dublin), and Griffith College (Dublin).

His short film work includes ‘Arts & Crafts’, starring Josh Cooke and Rob Benedict which was an “exclusive” on Will Ferrell’s Funny Or Die website.  Funny Or Die then commissioned three other “exclusives”, which Jon wrote and directed, entitled ‘Roasted: America Under the Influence’  ‘Sexy Daddy’, starring Dave Foley and written by Dave and Kevin McDonald of The Kids In The Hall, and ‘Realistic Black Mirror,’ written by Rob Kutner and starring Henry Zebrowski and Adam Pally.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kesselman received his Bachelors degree from the University of Colorado, graduating Magna Cum Laude in Psychology with an emphasis in Neuroscience. He received his Masters Degree in Film Production from the University of Southern California School of Cinema/Television in 2001.

Here are a few clients Jonathan has worked with so far


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