Jessica Chen. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Jessica Q. Chen

Jessica Q. Chen is a Chinese American filmmaker and journalist whose work explores stories and change around women’s issues, youth culture and sports. She was the series producer for L.A. Times Short Docs.

In 2022, Chen directed her first feature-length documentary, “Surf Nation,” which documents the beginnings of China’s surf culture through the Chinese Olympic surf team. It premiered at the 2022 Mountainfilm Festival and won the Santa Cruz Film Festival Audience Award.

Before joining The Times in 2016, Chen was associate producer for a National Geographic feature-length documentary and was awarded the Aldred I. duPont-Columbia Award for her work. The film, “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS,” premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

Chen has produced films out of the Middle East for the Associated Press, Al Jazeera and UNHCR. She has a master’s degree in investigative reporting from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in biology from UC Irvine.