Joanna James is the founder of Zoel Productions, a production company based in Manhattan creating independent content for television, film, non-profits, commercial and digital spaces. Joanna made her directorial debut with the award-winning documentary, A Fine Line. The film explores why less than 7% of head chefs and restaurant owners are women, hearing candid insights from world-renowned chefs. Opening a national discussion on gender equality and career advancement by following the personal story of a single mother, small-town restaurateur on a mission to do what she loves while raising two kids and mightily high odds stacked against her. Joanna developed the MAPP Impact Campaign around the film to increase women in leadership by spotlighting women’s professional contributions and advocating for affordable childcare, paid parental leave and mentorship.
Prior to filmmaking Joanna was a newspaper reporter interning for the Boston Globe and later chosen to the cover the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens for a Greek American Newspaper. Having gone from reporter to filmmaker, inventor to women’s rights organizer, now as a wife and mother Joanna has found her calling to inspire more women to live their truths.