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Work Samples

Mom & M Trailer

Documentary Feature. 60 Minutes. Mom & M is an intimate portrait of modern American parenthood. Meet Nikki, a transgender writer; Elise, a social media influencer; and Sansa, their adopted daughter who battles leukemia. Together they navigate what happens when your partner comes out as transgender while caring for an ill child and that remission is not the end to life’s challenges. The Richard family offers a deep-seated glimpse of love’s power in surviving extraordinary circumstances.

Dear Country

Docu-Narrative Short. 4 Minutes. This film is a short docu-narrative in response to the 2016 presidential election and my fears and hopes for American women during Trump’s time in office. Inspired by and incorporating January 2017's first Women's March on Washington, Dear Country follows the journey of four young women expressing tones of unity, female empowerment, women's rights and the hope for the future of young females. This film was created in support of the Women's March by an all female cast and production crew.

The Local Oyster Stout- Trailer

Documentary Short. 8 Minutes. An oyster farmer, a shucker, and a brewery collaborate on Maryland's first farm to table Oyster Stout beer, reviving a time-honored tradition of the industrial past and charting a future for sustainability in the Chesapeake Bay. Recipient of a Capital Emmy Award, The National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences – Category: Chesapeake Heritage, Short Form Content – June 26th, 2021

Ora Et Labora- Trailer

Documentary Short. 17 Minutes. What does it mean to follow one’s calling into an abbey and a brewery? Inspired by the growth of the American craft beer movement, a group of Catholic monks in Spencer, Massachusetts produces America’s first “Trappist-certified” beer, a historically European tradition that offers an opportunity for the community to preserve their unique way of life. “Ora et labora” is Latin for “work and prayer,” and is the motto of the Christian monastic life.

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About Jena

Baltimore County

Jena Burchick's picture
Jena Burchick is a regional Emmy award winning filmmaker, artist and educator from Baltimore, Maryland. She returned to her alma mater, Towson University, after spending a decade crewing as an IATSE 487 Studio Technician and Gaffer for commercial, episodic television and feature films such as House of Cards, Veep and Jason Bourne, as well as lighting President Obama during his administration.  Burchick has produced and directed several short documentary and docu-narrative films exploring themes... more

Our Time Kitchen, Documentary Film

Documentary. Currently in Production & Post-Production. 

Our Time Kitchen is the journey of two Baltimore chefs, Cat Smith (she/her) and Kiah Gibian (she/they) as they race against the clock to build and open a shared commercial kitchen, called “Our Time Kitchen,” which will support BIPOC women, marginalized gendered folks, and immigrants as they create sustainable businesses of their own.

Chefs Cat and Kiah are a powerhouse team that came together out of years of resilience and experience surviving Baltimore’s food system. They believe that it is time for a new, sustainably focused, collective kitchen model and in a little over a year, they race the clock to realize their dream to open the kitchen. Every aspect of their endeavor is about collaboration and advocacy for positive change, not only in how we create meals, but how we feed our communities and their access to food and education.

This is a “by Baltimore, for Baltimore film” both behind and in front of the camera. I am born and raised in Baltimore and as a documentarian, am connected and inspired by the color and grit of our steadfast community. In the year and change that I have spent capturing chefs Cat and Kiah, every aspect of their endeavor has been about the richness of the Baltimore community. From intentionally collaborating with a community led, equitable design center and female architect, to hiring a neighborhood electrician named Larry who, as a child, used to play in the location’s backyard after church, to the full scale building mural titled “Braiding Seeds'' designed by local artist Jaz Erenberg which shines a light on the stories of enslaved people who braided seeds into their hair to enable descendants to survive in plantation society, this is a story about breaking barriers.

Cat and Kiah embody the pride of a new kind of hard-working Baltimore entrepreneur. Stories of strength, and also of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ joy, are narratives we need more of and I feel it is imperative for audiences to see their leadership and successes. If you can see it, you can be it.

  • Chefs Cat & Kiah Cook Together

    Chefs Kiah & Cat prepare a dinner for their community to explain the process of building Our Time Kitchen.
  • Chef Kiah

    Chef Kiah teaches students in the Dignity Plates Training Program from the Franciscan Center of Baltimore. Chef Kiah lead the class in making corn chowder while reducing food waste in the kitchen. We learned so many things alongside the cohort of students, like how to char poblano peppers and how to “milk” corn! All while getting deeper knowledge of chef Kiah’s experience as a farmer, food truck owner and chef.
  • Chef Cat

    Our Time Kitchen's Chef Cat Smith and her son take a look at the exterior of the building. At this point in filming, it was common for folks to use the back of their building as a dumping space for trash and as well as theft as the months went on. Both chefs would undergo different kinds of de-escalation training to feel safer in their building while maintaining a positive relationship with all members of their community.
  • Jaz Erenberg

    Community centered public artist, Jaz Erenberg painting the Our Time Kitchen mural "Braiding Seeds."

Mom & M

  • Mom & M
  • Documentary Feature-Length Film. 60 Minutes. 

  • Mom & M is a kindhearted yet raw, intimate portrait of modern American parenthood. Meet Nikki, a writer and PhD student; Elise, a social media influencer; and Sansa, their adopted daughter who battles leukemia. Together they navigate what happens when your partner comes out as transgender while caring for an ill child. Together they discover that cancer remission is not the end to life’s challenges. The Richard family offers a deep-seated glimpse of love’s power in helping families survive extraordinary circumstances.
  • Mom & M is told in part through Nikki’s poetic narration, Elise’s social media, and their mutual smartphone home movies, which are shown against the backdrop of Baltimore’s inhabitants, row homes, and distinct four seasons. The capturing and inclusion of their home movies celebrate a unique collaborative filmmaking aesthetic as well as an important invitation to view how the Richard family sees the world. The filmmaker's emphasis is on sharing their story as opposed to extracting it. Watching the protagonists' lives through modern home movie making allows the audience to ask the question: How do we capture and store our collected memories in this day and age? 
  • We spend a year following the Richard family as it traverses the rocky waters and developmental delays from Sansa’s cancer diagnosis. The child's fine motor skills are a challenge, her social skills are underdeveloped, and she is suspected to have ADHD. Confronting these hurdles — seemingly one after another — puts Nikki and Elise’s relationship on the back burner. The couple practices radical communication in discussing Nikki’s transition, rejection from family, financial difficulties, and more and reveal a transparent gentleness. Even when things feel at their lowest, Nikki and Elise invite us further into their lives and their living room with absolute vulnerability.
  • Mom & M consistently depicts a theme very near to the hearts of many — a belief that family is bonded by more than blood. It is a choice.
Roles: Director/Producer/Editor/Director of Photography
Status: Dissemination

Distribution: 2022-2024 Contract with Maryland Public for continuous television air dates on MPT & MPT2 as well as online digital streaming.

Awards & Recognition: Best LGBTQ Film, Wine, Women & Film Festival, LA, USA, 2022 Docs Without Borders, Award of Excellence, DE, USA, 2021 Semi-Finalist, Lake Travis Film Festival, TX, USA, 2021 Award of Merit for LGBTQ content, IndieFest Film Awards, CA, USA, 2021 Film Festival Official Selections: - Wine, Women & Film Festival, LA, USA, 2022 - Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada, 2022 - Paid screening fee honorarium - Rainbow Visions Film Festival, Alberta, Canada, 2021
-Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, VT, USA,  - We Make Movies Film Festival, LA, USA, 2021 - UFVA National Conference, Virtual, USA, 2021 - Bentonville Film Festival, Documentary Competition, AK, USA, 2021 - Paid screening fee honorarium - OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival, SC, USA, 2021 - Docs Without Borders, DE, USA, 2021 - Maryland Film Festival, MD, USA, 2021 - Paid screening fee honorarium - North Beach American Film Festival, MD, USA, 2021 - Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival, Seattle, USA, 2021 - Lake Travis Film Festival, TX, USA, 2021 - Indy Film Fest, IN, USA, 2021 - The IndieFest Film Awards, CA, USA, 2021

The Local Oyster Stout

Directed by: Jena Burchick & Mark Burchick

An oyster farmer, a shucker, and two brewers create Maryland's first farm to table Oyster Stout beer, reviving a time-honored tradition. The Local Oyster Stout hopes to bridge our passion for growing up around the water, supporting small businesses, and drinking good beer into a captivating story to share with friends, family, and those who thirst for connection (and beer!).

Award Winner:

  • National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter Emmy Award
  • Fish and Wildlife Film Festival
  • Water Docs Film Festival

Official Selection: Sierra Nevada Film Fest USA, Food Film Fest Prague, Les Bois Film Fest USA, Fish and Wildlife Film Fest USA, Fresh Coast Film Fest USA, Life and Sciences Film Fest Prague, Philadelphia Environmental Film Fest, Water Docs Film Fest Canada, Chesapeake Film Fest

Dear Country

Dear Country Docu-Narrative Short Film. 4 Minutes.  Roles: Director/Producer/Camera Operator This film is a short docu-narrative in response to the 2016 presidential election and my fears and hopes for American women during Trump’s time in office. Inspired by and incorporating January 2017's first Women's March on Washington, Dear Country follows the journey of four young women expressing tones of unity, female empowerment, women's rights and the hope for the future of young females. This film was created in support of the Women's March by an all female cast and production crew.

Awards & Recognition: - Vimeo Staff Pick for an International Audience - 2.8K views on Vimeo as of June 2021 - Best Storyteller for a Documentary Short Film, Colorado International Activism Film Festival 2011-2013 - 2018 Award Winner, Made In Baltimore Short Film Festival

Film Festival Official Selections:
- Our Stories Virtual Film Festival, Towson University, USA, 2020

- Annapolis Film Fest, USA, 2018 - Short to the Point, Bucharest, 2018 - Eve Film Fest, Canada, 2018 - Cardiff Mini Film Fest, UK, 2018 - Race to Justice, USA, 2018 - Global Peace Film Fest, 2018 - Made In Baltimore Short Film Fest, USA, 2018 - Born In Baltimore Film & Photography Fest, USA, 2018

Jena's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.