Jenni Nelson



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Telegraph 21 - Best of Student Docs Runner-up Winner 2010
Watch a two minute preview of the film
and read an interview with the director. More here.

World Premiere Season Launch
Thursday, September 30, 2010
6pm Reception, 7:30 Screening - San Francisco, CA
Herbst Theater (map it)
Buy tickets here.

Tightly Knit is traveling with LUNAFEST. See when it is screening in your area.

Usurp Art Gallery, London, November 26, 2010
The film is playing in conjunction with a knitting installation.
More here.

San Francisco Film Society - Cinema By the Bay 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010, 2:00pm screening
Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St, San Francisco
Buy tickets here.

Big Screen Project (BSP)
October 1-3, 2010, Eventi Hotel, New York City

Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema
Monday, October 4, 2010
7:30 Screening
El Rio, 3158 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
More here.

LA Film Festival Official Selection
Sunday, June 20, 9:45pm, Regal Cinemas #10/LA Live
Sunday, June 27, 1:30pm, Regal Cinemas #10/LA Live
1000 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015 (map it)

Urban TV Festival Finalist - Spain 2010

Cantor Arts Center, Party on the Edge, 2010

Art + Invention Student Works Festival, Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa), Stanford University, 2010


Short Synopsis

"Tightly Knit" explores the story of three passionate and quirky characters obsessed with knitting. It defies the stereotype that knitting is just for grandmothers and introduces contemporary trends in a vibrant knitting community.


Medium Synopsis

“Sock knitters are the first people to rip their shoes off and throw their feet in your face to show you the amazing sock that they just knit; they don’t want their pieces hidden.” "Tightly Knit" is a 16mm black and white documentary that brings to life the sub-culture of the knitting community. Three characters introduce us to this quirky world, sharing their obsession for knitting. Jasmin reveals inside lingo and the genesis of her knitting group, “The Minions with Pointy Sticks.” Laura, a knitting newbie, fully immerses herself in processing wool after loosing her job. Finally, Wonder Mike expresses his passion as an artist by setting his work free “out in the wild” through knit graffiti or “yarn bombs.” Stop-motion animation whimsically brings this practice to life as yarn wiggles its way around urban objects resulting in the ultimate “knit tag.” "Tightly Knit" defies the stereotype that knitting is just for grandmothers and brings the art into a public arena while tenderly showing the human need for a sense of belonging and community.



Jenni Nelson: Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor

Jenni Nelson grew up in a small town in southern Idaho. After receiving her BA in Theatre Arts Studies for scenic design in 2003 at Brigham Young University, she revisited the idiosyncrasies of her own small town life while working as the Prop Master on "Napoleon Dynamite." She continued to work as a professional Production Designer and Art Director for numerous feature films, corporate videos, and television shows, including "Biz Kid$," an Emmy-award-winning PBS television series that teaches financial literacy and entrepreneurship to children.

She began working on nonfiction films as a way to reach out to communities and to better explore topics such as mental illness, homelessness, and poverty. From 2005-09 she worked as an associate producer on the feature documentary "Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia," which addresses family relationships and community care for those afflicted with mental illness. In 2008, she produced, filmed, and edited a documentary short while volunteering at an orphanage in India. She has also worked as an associate producer on a documentary for HBO about homeless youth in Seattle. "Tightly Knit," “The Gentle Sport,” and “Night Awake” are her most recent films which she created in the MFA Documentary Film program at Stanford University where she is completing her degree.


Director's Note

I was at a dinner party recently when a tall, gorgeous friend pulled out her knitting materials and began working on a sock. I had always associated knitting with something dated, like grandmothers making tea cozies, but this friend was in her twenties, elegant and charming. This was new and fresh. I was mesmerized, and as I talked to her she said that her ex-boyfriend had told her she shouldn't take her knitting to social gatherings because she would be "committing social suicide." I laughed and knew that I had to dig deeper into the sub-culture of knitters. This was far from "social suicide;" her ability to multi-task, and the jolt of the shattered stereotype, gripped my attention.

This was the initial inspiration for my film, and as I met more knitters I realized that there was a hidden community of socially well-adjusted people who knit themselves together, supporting each other through personal struggles. Not only was the community alluring, but the hand crafts they made were visually intriguing. I discovered "yarn bombing" and envisioned a film that would reveal how knitting is no longer limited to doilies and living rooms, but has taken to the streets in the form of knit graffiti. I wanted to make the yarn come alive through stop-motion animation in order to capture the surprise and intrigue I felt when I came across yarn bombing for the first time. This film is about finding one's place in a supportive and artistic community, and the form of the film mirrors the lively nature of the knitting sub-culture.


Film Details

Exact Runtime: 04 min : 42 sec
Aspect Ratio: 1.33 (4x3)
Sound: Stereo
Date of Completion: 2010
Country of Production: USA
Country of Filming: USA


Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor:
Jenni Nelson

Jasmin Canty
Laura Ogilvie
Michael Wade

Associate Producer:
Briar March

Music composed by:
Mark Smythe

Faculty Advisors:
Jamie Meltzer
Jan Krawitz

Technical Assistance:
Mark Urbanek
Christian Gainsley

Thanks to:
The Knitmore Girls Podcast
Purlescence Yarns
A Verb for Keeping Warm

Special thanks to:
Gigi Karimzadeh
Andrew Canty
Gregory McKenna
Erin Balabanian
Lisa Lowery
Rachel Debasitis
Ursula Ferrara Le Tuan
Janice Lambert
Sandi Luck
Nathania Apple
Kristine Vejar
Adrienne Rodriguez
Nam Pham
Katrina Bicknell
Carol Kramer

Produced in the Documentary Film and Video M.F.A. Program
Department of Art & Art History
Stanford University

This film was made possible by a product grant from
Kodak Motion Picture Film

© 2010 Jenni Nelson