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APSU alumnus Raven Jackson debuts feature film at Sundance Film Festival

By: Kara Zahn January 5, 2024

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Austin Peay State University alumna Raven Jackson (‘12) is making waves in the world of cinema with her debut narrative feature, “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt.” The film is an A24 release with Jackson as the writer and director and Maria Altamirano as the producer. Distributed by PASTEL and A24, its world premiere was held at the U.S. Dramatic Competition during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

“All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt” is a decades-spanning exploration of a woman's life in Mississippi and an ode to the generations of people, places and ineffable moments that shape us. The film was recently featured in New York at Film at Lincoln Center and in Nashville at the Belcourt Theatre, and has received glowing reviews from The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

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More About Raven Jackson

Jackson is an award-winning filmmaker, poet and photographer from Tennessee. Her work often explores landscapes of indefinable experiences and emotions, as well as the body’s relationship to nature. "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt” recently earned her a 2023 Gotham Award for Breakthrough Director, and the film has received support from Cinereach, SFFILM, the Gotham, Film Independent, Tribeca Film Institute, New Orleans Film Society, Ikusmira Berriak, Indie Memphis, Kenneth Rainin Foundation and Westridge Foundation. Jackson also has short films, “Nettles” and “A Guide to Breathing Underwater,” that are currently streaming on the Criterion Channel.

During her time at Austin Peay, Jackson was heavily involved with the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, Zone 3 (the University’s literary journal and press) and creative writing. She also worked for The All State, the University’s student-run newspaper, for two years. Jackson was a Zone 3 student editor and represented the journal and press at Handmade & Bound, a literary festival in Nashville. After graduating, she earned Master of Fine Arts degrees from New York University’s graduate film program and The New School’s writing program.

In 2019, Jackson participated in an Alumni Series, where she presented a reading on Austin Peay’s campus, allowing students the opportunity to screen her short film, "Nettles." Additionally, during her visit, she engaged in an interview with Austin Peay creative writing professor Dr. Amy Wright, which can be viewed on Zone 3’s website. Jackson was also recognized by Austin Peay’s College of Arts and Letters as the 2022 Distinguished Alumni for the Department of Languages & Literature.

To learn more about Jackson, visit raven-jackson.com or follow her on Instagram @dopevibrations. For more information on “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt,” check out this interview with Raven Jackson at the Film at Lincoln Center, watch the official trailer or read this review by The Guardian.


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