Los Angeles, California
Director James Kicklighter spent the first eighteen years of his life in Bellville, Georgia, population 123.
Since then, he has gone on to become a multi-award winning Los Angeles-based film director and producer. His work has been recognized by the world’s press, including The Hollywood Reporter, The Times of India, Film Courage and FilmInk Australia. Kicklighter recently served as a panelist at the 2018 Oscar-qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival, taught several filmmaking courses as an educator on Stage32.com, and his interview series with the popular YouTube channel Film Courage has nearly 200,000 views.
In 2021, Shout Studios! will release The Sound of Identity, winner of the 2020 OUTShine Film Festival's Programmers Award for Excellence. In the spotlight of global media coverage, Lucia Lucas, the first transgender woman to perform as Don Giovanni in a professional opera, makes her historic debut in one of the reddest states in America. From director James Kicklighter, The Sound of Identity is produced by Emmy Award-winning producers Russ Kirkpatrick & Andy Kinslow and executive producer Josh Bachove (Minari, The Nowhere Inn, The Little Hours).
In February 2020, Kicklighter completed principal photography on his multi-year documentary The American Question, which began post-production in June 2020. Following numerous subjects since December 2016, the film examines the root of American polarization and the repercussions of eroded civic institutions, public trust and leadership. Guided by an all-star lineup of experts, including Amy Chua (Day of Empire), Colin Woodard (American Nations), Yuval Levin (The Fractured Republic) and Yascha Mounk (The People vs. Democracy), we examine the broader arc of history and discover new revelations about the shared values system that binds society together in times of triumph and turmoil. Kicklighter directs The American Question with a creative team including producer Guy Seemann, an international political consultant, and editors J.D. Sievertson ("Cosmos," "The Story of God with Morgan Freeman") and Carlos Puga, the Emmy-award winning producer of MTV’s “True Life."
He was the for Film Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign in Virginia, directing content featuring Sen. Tim Kaine, Sean Astin, Lena Dunham (“Girls”), Kate Walsh, (“Grey’s Anatomy”) Bellamy Young (“Scandal”), Constance Wu (“Fresh off the Boat”), Miley Cyrus, Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, amongst other public, private and political figures.
Kicklighter is developing several films with a southern voice for producers Richard Saperstein (The Mist, Se7en), M. Elizabeth Hughes (Short Term 12, Girlfriend’s Day) and Beau Turpin (Beneath the Leaves, Counterpunch), including The Perpetual State of Georgia from Casey Nelson and Kate Murdoch (The Last Treasure Hunt) and Erk, a biopic about legendary college football coach Erk Russell. His screenplay Escaping Bellview, was featured on The Black List, SpecScout, and slated. Additionally, it was named to the Top 50 in the 2016 ISA Fast Track Fellowship.
James serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Communication Arts at Georgia Southern University, his alma mater. He was recently chosen out of over 30,000 living graduates to be listed on the inaugural “40 Under 40 Alumni.” He was selected for “impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors.”
He resides in Los Angeles, California and still can't believe he gets to work across the country and around the globe.
For more information, please visit https://www.JamesKicklighter.com
I have been in the industry since 2010.