Chesler directs documentary and narrative
films addressing themes of the body, sexuality, and gender. Giovanna received an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University and a BA in Anthropology and Women's Studies from the University of Virginia. In Fall 2013, she takes on the role of Director of the Film and Video Studies Program at George Mason University and the post of Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the Fairfax, Virginia campus. Giovanna teaches courses in digital filmmaking and community engaged video activism, transmedia for social justice and media production addressing health and the body.
Currently, Giovanna is Producing the documentary feature Out in the Night, directed by blair doroshwalther and Produced by Yoruba Richen. Out in the Night is about four young African-American lesbian friends who defended themselves against a male attacker in the West Village of NYC and were subsequently charged and slandered by the media as a "Lesbian Gang". The new trailer was released in April as part of the Out in the Night fundraising campaign. Giovanna is developing a feature length film on sexual health issues, tentatively titled Stick. She received a Dean's Fellowship and Sokol Grant in 2011 from Marymouunt Manhattan College for research and screenwriting for this project. Giovanna's previous films include Bye Bi Love (HD, 17min, 2010) a short fiction film about a woman who receives an invitation to her ex-girlfriend's wedding, Period: The End of Menstruation? (16mm, 54 min) a feature documentary on cultural and medical trends in menstruation which is distributed by Cinema Guild, New York, BeauteouS: The Trilogy, an examination of three sisters and their relationships to beauty (16mm, 43 min) and hand-some, a reflexive documentary on a failing lesbian relationship (16mm, 13 min) distributed by Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.
Awards for Giovanna's films include Honorable Mention in Fiction Filmmaking from the University Film and Video Association for Bye Bi Love in 2010 and the Gold Plaque Award for Best Student Documentary from the Chicago International Film Festival in 2000 for BeauteouS: Stephanie. Period received worldwide attention as a touchstone on the menstrual suppression debate, beginning with a front-page article in The New York Times. Giovanna's films have played at over 110 international festivals in fifteen countries. Her new media work includes Tune in HPV, a web television channel for awareness, expression and entertainment around the human papillomavirus.
Giovanna produces videos for progressive organizations and shoots for feminist video artists and filmmakers, working with a team of talented video makers affiliated with her production company, G6 Pictures. Recent projects include this 30 minute documentary for the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University, this short activist piece on Iraqi women also for CWGL, and an edited piece (shot by WITNESS) on militarism and women's human rights. Cinematography work includes the internationally screened film Six Years by Monique Moumblow and camera work on short videos by Kim Schoen. In 2003 Giovanna worked as the primary cinematographer on Ending the Cycle of Violence, a six part series on violence prevention in youth for Discovery Education Networks. Early in her career, she worked as the Associate Producer and Production Manager on Wild at Start: High Technology Adventures and the American Dream (2000, Capela) following 15 startup companies during the high tech bubble of the late 90's.
Giovanna serves as a research and media fellow at the Center for Social Media at American University. Recent essays include an essay on sound editing in documentary through the work of Frederick Wiseman in the Fall 2012 issue of Jump Cut, a chapter on the Tune in HPV project co-authored with Bree Kessler published in Three Shots at Prevention: The HPV Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine's Simple Solutions (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), and a piece in Jump Cut on sound pedagogy in the video classroom. Her new essay on Wiseman is an updated version of this chapter in an edited collection on Wiseman's work in DFI Vorwerk. She has served on the selection committee for the AFI Silverdocs Film Festival and has curated programs of experimental feminist films for the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and Ladyfest San Diego. She writes film criticism with feminist, sonic and documentarian leanings at her blog g6pix.blogspot.
G6 Pictures, Giovanna's production company, comes from her name - Giovanna Marie is the 6th in a matrilineal line of Giovannas.