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Jill Sprecher is an American film director, producer and writer.
A graduate from University of Wisconsin–Madison with a degree in philosophy and literature, Sprecher relocated to New York to study film.
In addition to being a director, she has worked as a coordinator, production manager and line producer on both studio and independent features, often to pay the bills for her own film efforts. She studied film directing with Robert Wise and, prior to making her directorial debut with Clockwatchers (1997), she studied improvisational technique in Manhattan. For five years she served as a judge for CableACE Awards. Clockwatchers debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to screen at over a dozen international festivals. It won a Best Film prize at the Torino International Festival of Young Cinema of 1997.
Next up was Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, (executive produced by Michael Stipe) a film that received more attention and critical acclaim, but reportedly put Jill $150,000 into personal debt to finance it. Poor timing (the film was picked up 3 days before the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City), among other factors, led to the film mostly flying under the radar in the mainstream world.
She often works with her sister Karen Sprecher, who writes, they are sometimes referred to as "the Coen sisters" a reference to fellow midwesterners Joel and Ethan Coen. Her brother is Jeff Sprecher, the founder, Chairman and CEO of IntercontinentalExchange, Inc.
On the long gap between films:
"We finished the script for 13 Conversations in eight weeks--it was finished before Clockwatchers actually came out. What happened was I had to do a lot of traveling with Clockwatchers to festivals and we actually won a prize at the Turin Festival. Thankfully, it was a cash prize, about $18,000, and we took that money and worked on 13 Conversations. But right after Clockwatchers we actually went back to doing temp work and trying to raise funding to make our next movie, and suddenly it's three-and-a-half years later. We took odd jobs, used credit cards--we kept thinking that big break was just right around the corner. I think we would've walked away from it altogether, but periodically something encouraging would happen to keep us going.