For nearly two decades, Working Films has positioned documentaries to advance social justice and environmental protection. We work with grassroots groups and NGOs to enhance their programs, extend their reach, and move their missions forward. And we train and consult filmmakers to strengthen their community engagement. Together, we are using documentaries to reach critical audiences and move the dial toward meaningful progress on the biggest issues of our time.

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STAFF & BOARD

Anna Lee
Co-Director

Anna Lee

Anna Lee serves as the co-director of Working Films. Since joining Working Films in 2005, Anna has developed and coordinated audience engagement campaigns for numerous high profile films, consulted with hundreds of filmmakers, and presented trainings to nonprofits leaders, increasing their capacity to use film as a tool to movie the dial on critical issues. In her current role Anna leads the operations and financial management of Working Films and raises funds, while continuing to manage a small number of film campaigns.

Anna brings previous experience as an educator to Working Films, using her background in curriculum design to enhance Working Films' trainings for filmmakers and nonprofits. She directed the development and outreach of Working Films’ multi-media curriculum project, New Faces: Latinos in North Carolina.

Prior to joining Working Films, Anna was the Program Director at Amigos Internacional, a Latino advocacy and education center in Wilmington, NC. Anna. She taught first grade in a bilingual program in Phoenix, AZ for two years and spent a year living in Latin America, where she studied Spanish and taught English as a foreign language. Anna earned a Master of Education from Arizona State University and a B.A. in Sociology from Wake Forest University. Together with her husband Johnny, she’s raising two young sons.

Molly Murphy
Co-Director

Molly Murphy

Molly Murphy co-directs Working Films, a nonprofit that uses documentary film to advance social and environmental justice and sustainability. In her sixteen year tenure, she has planned and directed national media engagement campaigns, facilitated partnerships and coordinated coalitions centered on the use of documentaries to enhance communication, reach beyond the choir, and make an impact. Molly has designed and led dozens of trainings for filmmakers, grassroots organizations, and NGOs focused on using film and online media to effect change. She directs the Reel Engagement initiative, which positions documentary media in target states throughout the U.S. to strengthen organizing for clean energy solutions, racial and economic justice, and democracy.
Jayeesha Dutta
StoryShift Strategist

StoryShift Strategist

Jayeesha Dutta coordinates Working Films' StoryShift Initiative.

She is a tri-coastal artivist and scholar pursuing a doctorate at the University of New Orleans researching the intersection of the creative third space, trust building, and relationship development in social justice movements. She co-founded the Radical Arts and Healing Collective, an intersectional arts-based direct action and healing support movement hub based out of New Orleans. For several years, she served as coordinator for the Gulf Future Coalition bringing together over 90 organizations across the Gulf Coast to restore, protect and defend communities, cultures and ecosystems galvanized in the wake of the BP oil drilling disaster. More recently, she managed the national community arts program for the Peoples Climate March in Washington DC, and has been coordinating the efforts of Another Gulf Is Possible, a regional collaborative for a just transition in the Gulf South. Jayeesha is a board member of Big Class/826 New Orleans and also chairs the Alternate ROOTS Visual Arts working group. Jayeesha's artistic mediums include photography, painting, collaborative storytelling, participatory theater, digital design, and mass movement art. She is an avid traveler, home chef, live music aficionado and loves being near (or in) any body of water.
Andy Myers
Senior Campaign Coordinator

Andy Myers

Andy Myers is the Campaign Coordinator for Working Films, he holds a B.A in film studies and a B.A in environmental studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. A longtime proponent of connecting film with activism, he has coordinated various national campaigns which leverage the narrative in social issue documentaries to advance the efforts of organizations with shared goals.
Stephanie Avery Taylor
Operations and Finance Assistant

Stephanie Avery Taylor

Stephanie Avery Taylor is Working Films’ Operations and Finance Assistant.

Stephanie has an extensive background in racial justice and environmental education. She was a 2009 honoree of the National Women's History Project for the Leave No Trace Master Educator training and Eco-Camps she started, which inspire children to become good stewards of the land. Stephanie has served as a board member of the Cucalorus Film Festival and co-hosted the community Racial Rewind film series which focused on racial tensions throughout history and sparked involvement from participants to be active members of society for improved race relations. As the former Racial Justice director at the YWCA she worked with other local organizers to bring an inventive education series, The History of Wilmington in Black and White. Her previous experience as a business office manager gives her a unique and valuable skill set for managing Working Films’ administrative needs.
Hannah Hearn
George Stoney Fellow

Hannah Hearn

Hannah Hearn is the 2018 George Stoney Fellow at Working Films and a recent graduate of UNC Wilmington. She holds a B.A. in Film Studies and a minor in Entrepreneurship and Business Development. Recently, she worked as the Managing Director of Visions Film Festival & Conference as well as the Sound Mixer for the documentary feature “Dead in the Water” which explores the unsustainable practice of factory farming in North Carolina. Moving forward, she hopes to continue utilizing different avenues of film to make an impact in the world and to inspire others.
Alyce Myatt
Docs In Action Advisor

Alyce Myatt

Alyce Myatt advises Working Films' Docs In Action fund.

Alyce Myatt’s career reflects the intersection of media, art, and philanthropy. She has been the director of Media Arts for the National Endowment for the Arts and was the founding Executive Director of the funder affinity group, Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media. She also served as a Program Officer for Media at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and as Director of Children’s Programming and later Vice President of Programming at PBS.

Now a consultant, she counts among her recent clients the University of Baltimore, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Among her past clients are the Annie E. Casey and Skillman Foundations, Council on Foundations, National Alliance for Media Arts + Culture, TVE Brasil, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, WGBH, WNET, WNYC Radio, and Voqal.

Alyce began her career producing for both adults and children with projects ranging from investigative reports to a children’s science series. Her production credits include the Smithsonian Institution, Nickelodeon, “3-2-1 Contact!,” and ABC's "20/20."

Alyce Myatt has served as a board director or advisor to Arts Engine, Auburn Media at the Center for Multi-faith Education, the Center for Rural Strategies, the Center for Media & Social Impact at American University, the Council on Foundations Technology Task Force, the Emerson College Alumni Association, Grantmakers in the Arts: Art & Social Change Working Group, the National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture and WITNESS.
Ellen Bollinger
Board Member

Ellen Bollinger

Ellen's undergraduate degree in Psychological Anthropology from New College in Sarasota, Florida was earned while acting with the Asolo State Repertory Company.

She has worked in media marketing and sales since discovering these studies were not her paths to a sustainable future and moved to Manhattan where she wisely decided to try the view from the audience.

Ellen has worked for The New York Times, Time Warner Cable's NY1 news network, the New York Post and The Asbury Park Press.

She has been at The Nation magazine for fifteen years. During this time she has channeled her enthusiasm for people, multiculturalism and film to connect documentary filmmakers to The Nation's community of policymakers and compassionate activists in order to mitigate the wrongs that these films illuminate.

As a consultant in the early 90s she produced The First Annual Yankee Fan Festival at Madison Square Garden and a Sports Legend fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis at Mickey Mantle's restaurant.

Ellen has served on the Board of the Sandy Hook Foundation, a friends group of the National Park Service, for 17 years.

She lives on NJ's Bayshore with her husband, John, and their son, Wes, an undergraduate at Tulane University and is a championship winning co-ed softball pitcher.

She is excited to help the Board further its great work in creating replicable models for social change and environmental stewardship.
Jessica Brackman
Board Member

Jessica Brackman

Jessica Brackman was CEO of FPG International, a leading stock photography agency recognized for its creative innovation, commitment to social issues and unique corporate culture. During her tenure there, she became involved with the Social Venture Network (SVN) and served on the board of the Aperture Foundation, a not-for-profit photography institute and book publisher. After selling FPG, Jessica co-produced a film documentary about the spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, entitled Fierce Grace.
She serves on the board of the Tibet Fund, an organization founded under the auspices of His Holiness the Dalai Lama that supports health, education, cultural preservation and economic development in the Tibetan refugee community. She has worked on a number of publishing projects that deal with environmental, social and spiritual themes, including Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth and, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan diaspora, she produced, Thank You Tibet.

She now works in the area of social and environmental impact documentary film. She is on the board of Working Films and is the founder of the New Economy Film Festival which launched in NYC in 2013.
Natalie Bullock Brown
Board Member

Natalie Bullock Brown

Natalie Bullock Brown is an award winning and Emmy nominated producer and consultant, and is chair of and an assistant professor in the Department of Film & Interactive Media at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more than a decade, Natalie served as co-host of Black Issues Forum, a public affairs program on UNC-TV, North Carolina’s statewide public television network. Natalie was an associate producer on Burns’ 10 part PBS series, Jazz, and recently produced multi-part DVD series documenting the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Conference of Freedom Summer (2014), and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC ) 50th Anniversary Commemorative Conference (2010). Natalie is in the development phase of a documentary about black women and beauty. She
holds a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northwestern University.
Omisade Burney Scott
Board Member

Omisade Burney Scott

Omisade Burney-Scott, SiOP Core Committee Member, is a native of New Bern, North Carolina and a 1989 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the Founder and Principal of Ananse Consulting and sees herself as an “Organizational Belayer” or “one who secures the rope, enabling the climber to ascend safely to new heights.” Omisade’s professional career spans higher education, non-profit leadership, philanthropy and organizational coaching. In addition to Ananse Consulting which provides organizational capacity building, coaching, program design, philanthropic leadership development, and board development, Omisade has worked as the Director of Community Partnerships and Learning for the Southern Rural Development Initiative (SRDI) and as a Program Director with both the Warner Foundation, a small private family foundation in North Carolina and Public Allies North Carolina, a national AmeriCorps leadership program.

Omisade is a founding member of a Triangle Area African American Giving Circle called NGAAP, The Next Generation of African American Philanthropist that directly addresses the “supply/demand” paradigm inherent in philanthropy that is connected to issues of power and privilege. She has served on various non profit boards including stone circles and the Fund for Southern Communities. She currently serves on the board for The Beautiful Project and SpiritHouse. In addition, Omisade was selected to be a member of the Core Faculty for the Leadership Practice. The Leadership Practice is a collaborative partnership between the Asset-based Community Development Institute of Northwestern University and the national office of Public Allies which provides Asset-based Community Develop (ABCD) technical assistance to AmeriCorps programs nationwide.Omisade believes in the interconnectedness of spirituality and activism and the mighty and righteous work of indigenous leaders tethered to local communities and small organizations. She resides in Durham, NC with her amazing sons Che and Taj.
Rachel Chanoff
Engagement Consultant

Rachel Chanoff

Rachel has been working in performing arts and film for 25 years and is the founder and director of THE OFFICE performing arts + film, a NewYork City-based consulting, programming, and production company. She is the Curator of Performing Arts and Film for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), Director of Programming for the ’62 Center Series at the '62 Center for Theater and Dance at Williams College, Chairman of the New York Jewish Film Festival selection committee, Consultant to the Feature Film Program for the Sundance Institute, Curator of Family Programs at Symphony Space, and the Artistic Director of Celebrate Brooklyn!, New York’s longest running free outdoor performing arts and film festival.
Rachel is proud to serve on the board of the 52nd Street Project, The Jewish Fund for Justice, The Builders Association, and Working Films. She has also, for the past five years, participated in the Theater Development Fund’s Open Doors program, which introduces underserved high school students to the theater.
Lisa Kleiner Chanoff
Board Member

Lisa Kleiner Chanoff

Lisa Kleiner Chanoff is co-founder of Catapult Film Fund. Lisa founded Catapult Film Fund, along with filmmaker Bonni Cohen, in order to fill a gap in the documentary funding landscape for development support and to enable important and moving documentary films to get off the ground. Lisa is an investor and philanthropist, with a passion for early venture support. She has a long history of involvement in education and the arts, as well as health and poverty issues.

In addition to her involvement with Catapult films, Lisa is a Co-Executive Producer of FRUITVALE STATION, and an Executive Producer of the documentary WATCHERS OF THE SKY.
Lisa has a J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and practiced law in San Francisco and with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. After leaving law practice, Lisa received a master’s degree in Museum Studies and worked with museums in the San Francisco bay area, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum, designing exhibitions and education programs.

Lisa assists several non-profits in an advisory capacity, and serves on the boards of Working Films and the San Francisco Film Society.

Lisa has three children and lives in San Francisco with her husband Matt.
Caty Borum Chattoo
Board Member

Caty Borum Chatoo

Caty Borum Chattoo is Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI), an innovation lab and research center at American University that creates, showcases and studies media designed for social change; and Executive in Residence at the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C. She is an award-winning communication strategist and documentary film/TV producer working at the intersection of social-change communication, research, documentary and entertainment storytelling.

Borum Chattoo’s social-change storytelling, strategy and research work has been featured in USA Today, NPR, Businessweek, The Huffington Post, and PBS MediaShift, and her social justice documentaries have aired internationally and nationally on Netflix, the Sundance Channel, Pivot, NDTV (India), PBS World, Link TV, KCET, DirectTV and theatrically. She has produced two documentary feature films (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price and The After Party), a TV documentary and transmedia series (Stand Up Planet, starring Hasan Minhaj from “The Daily Show”), a multi-part documentary TV series focused on global poverty (ViewChange), a seven-part environmental justice documentary TV series (Sierra Club Chronicles), and PSA campaigns designed for social change on issues ranging from global poverty to climate change to HIV. At CMSI, her current research, creative and strategy work focuses on audience effects of documentary storytelling, nonfiction industry race and gender diversity, audience effects of entertainment storytelling across platforms, and the role of comedy in social justice.

Previously, she was senior vice president in the social marketing practice group at FleishmanHillard International Communications in Washington, D.C., focused on social-change programs. In Los Angeles, she was a longtime collaborator with legendary TV producer and philanthropist/activist Norman Lear as a founding director of Declare Yourself, a national youth civic engagement organization; and special projects director & senior producer at the USC Norman Lear Center, a research and public policy center that examines the social impact of entertainment on society. She also served as the program officer in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Entertainment Media & Public Health program; project director at the Center for Media Education; and fellow in civic journalism at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Borum Chattoo holds an M.A. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania (The Annenberg School for Communication), and a B.A. in Communication Studies (summa cum laude, In Honors, Phi Beta Kappa) from Virginia Tech.
Felix Endara
Board Member

Felix Endara

Ecuadorian filmmaker Felix Endara claims a long and consistent track record of producing innovative, thought-provoking media that has screened at prestigious film festivals such as Berlinale, DOC NYC, and Mill Valley. Topics he has covered have ranged from the preservation of LGBT historical spaces to portrayals of activists who challenge prejudice and violence. His work as an independent programmer and arts administrator draw on his values to champion art that functions as a catalyst for social change.
Will Jenkins
Board Member

Will Jenkins

Will Jenkins has more than a decade of communications and policy experience at the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services, Congress and international nonprofit organizations. Over the years, he has also worked with many filmmakers and media producers on stories that engage policy issues.

During his time in the federal government, Will served as a spokesperson to local, national and foreign news outlets on a wide range of issues, including criminal justice reform, drug policy, immigration, public health and education. At the White House, he worked with filmmakers to plan interviews and events with the President and senior officials for documentaries airing on PBS/Frontline, MTV, Showtime and other outlets. He has planned high profile events and policy rollouts featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA TODAY and The Washington Post and managed appearances for government officials on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, 60 Minutes and The Colbert Report. As a legislative aide in Congress, he guided from introduction to enactment the first legislation to protect American military members from the health effects of toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has been called this generation's Agent Orange.

As part of his work with media producers, he was Policy Director for the Impact Film Festival at the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, where he coordinated screening discussions with politicians, filmmakers, celebrities and reporters. In 2013, he developed the American Film Institute's first Political Bootcamp for Filmmakers. He has spoken about film and policymaking at South by Southwest, the Tribeca Film Festival, Good Pitch and the International Documentary Association. He is co-author of a report series on films and policymaking that published through American University in 2017 (http://cmsimpact.org/report/movies-go-washington-documentary-films-public-policy-united-states-vol-1/).
Peter Miller
Board Member

Peter Miller

Peter Miller's award-winning documentaries include the theatrically-released AKA Doc Pomus (about the legendary songwriter), Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story (narrated by Dustin Hoffman), and Sacco and Vanzetti (winner of the American Historical Association's best film award). With Carlos Sandoval, he directed and produced A Class Apart (PBS American Experience, Imagen Award). His musical film The Internationale was short-listed for an Academy Award nomination. His documentary Projections of America, about a little-known American WWII propaganda film unit, premiered on PBS stations in the fall of 2016. With Renée Silverman, he produced, directed and shot Sosua: Make a Better World (shown on PBS stations nationwide) and Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes On the World. He most recently co-directed Robert Shaw: Man of Many Voices, about the celebrated conductor, and is currently collaborating with filmmakers Peggy Stern and Justin Schein on a new film about the Palliative Care movement in medicine.

Peter has been a producer on numerous documentaries by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, including the PBS series The War and Jazz, as well as the Peabody Award-winning Frank Lloyd Wright. He's served in various producing roles on films including The Uprising of ’34, Passin' It On (winner of twenty film festival prizes), the Academy Award-winning American Dream, and many other celebrated documentaries. He works regularly as a script consultant, writer, and music supervisor.
Keryl McCord
Board Member

Keryl McCord

Keryl’s primary responsibility for Alternate ROOTS is fundraising through various efforts, including grant writing, individual donor development, and management of special events. She has been on staff since May 2009.
It has been a lively and quick time since Keryl relocated to the Atlanta area after nine years in New Jersey. A native New Yorker with deep roots in both the North and South, this is her first time living in the South. It is different, and she is still trying to figure it all out, but at least she is not getting lost as much as in the early days!
A veteran arts management professional, stage manager, and director, her career now spans decades, and thousands of miles as she has lived and worked on both coasts, spending ten years in the Bay Area, working as Managing Director of Oakland Ensemble Theater, and serving as a board member for Theater Bay Area, a theater service organization for non-profit theater companies.
A brief stint as Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theaters led her to Washington, DC as Director of Theater Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts. Finally, the call came to serve as Managing Director of Crossroads Theater Company in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It was in NJ that she spent six years working with the African Grove Institute for the Arts, (AGIA) founded by the late August Wilson, Dr. Victor Walker, and Professor William Cook.
A think tank and service organization, AGIA was born out of the historic National Black Theater Summit on Golden Pond, convened by Mr. Wilson. Keryl was Director of Institutional Development for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra when her life again took an unexpected turn as her husband came to GA to head up a health care firm.
It feels like home now to be working at Alternate ROOTS, an organization that has always been near and dear to her heart.

Hooray and thank you,
Kathie D.
Malaika Mose
Board Member

Malaika Mose

Malaika (Paquiot) Mose splits her times between her 2 loves: film and tech. To this end, she is a Digital Strategist with ARRAY, formerly known as African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), founded by the director of the Oscar-nominated film SELMA: Ava DuVernay. Malaika's led a group of 60 volunteers in the digital promotion of 13 out of ARRAY's 14 releases and will be working on their 15th acquisition: NAMOUR.

Vice-President of Product Management at a Wilmington, NC-based cloud banking startup, she has been in the software industry for 14 years during which time she has won the National Women of Color Technology Award.

She merges the tech and film worlds by writing on online film distribution and crowdfunding and has done so for Focal Press' Mastering Film blog, Filmmaker Magazine's blog and her own blog Beyond the Box Office. Up since 2009, it focuses on innovative ways for filmmakers to distribute their films, including set-top boxes, streaming services and mobile apps.

An authority on online film distribution, Malaika has been invited to cover industry events like National Association of Broadcasters, and has covered events like NewTeeVee Live, The Conversation, IFP and Power to the Pixel’s CrossMedia Forum NYC, DIY Days and SXSW. When last she checked, she was listed 84 times on Twitter in such categories as filmmaking, film-video, IPTV, new movie distribution and her personal favorite: Awesomocity.

She is currently a member of the Sundance Institute and a former board member of the San Jose Multicultural Artists Guild.

Having got to know Working Films co-founder Robert West briefly in the year before his diagnosis, it is her great honor to lend her skills to advancing the mission of the organization through membership on its board.
Betty Yu
Board Member

Betty Yu

Betty Yu is a Chinese-American NYC based filmmaker, multi-media artist, media educator and longtime social justice organizer. Her documentary “Resilience” about her garment worker mother fighting against sweatshop conditions, screened at national and international film festivals including the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival. Ms. Yu’s interactive multi-media installation, “The Garment Worker” was part of a 5 week art exhibit in Chinatown in 2013, and featured at Tribeca Film Institute’s Interactive 2014. Betty was a 2012 Public Artist-in-Resident with the Laundromat Project and is a 2015 Cultural Agent with the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) a people-powered network. Ms. Yu is currently on the Board of Directors of Deep Dish TV and Third World Newsreel, two progressive media arts centers that distributes and exhibits social issue films. She served on the board of Working Films from 2000-2006, Ms. Yu's work has been exhibited, screened and featured at the International Center of Photography, The Directors Guild of America, Brooklyn Museum, The Eastman Kodak Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. In addition, Betty has more than 15 years of community, media justice and labor organizing in NYC’s Chinatown. Ms. Yu's organizing recognitions include being a semi-finalist of the National Brick “Do Something” Award for community leadership and the recipient of the Union Square Award for grassroots activism.
Judith Helfand
Co-Founder

Judith Helfand

Building on years of creating strategic distribution efforts with her own documentaries, Judith co-founded Working Films with Robert West in 1999. Judith defines herself as a filmmaker/organizer and has worked as a documentary producer and educator for the past ten years. She co-produced and co-directed The Uprising of 34 with veteran documentarian, George Stoney. The feature labor documentary was broadcast nationally on the acclaimed PBS series P.O.V. in 1995 and voted one of that year’s ten best documentaries by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Judith used a more personal, humorous and ironic style with A Healthy Baby Girl, a Diethylstilbestrol (DES) daughter's diary about "wonder drugs" and rude awakenings. It was in competition at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, had its television premiere on P.O.V. and received a Peabody Award for Excellence in Journalism and Public Education.

Blue Vinyl, the 2002 crowd pleaser of a "toxic comedy" co-directed and co-produced with Daniel Gold, is a sequel of sorts that picks up right in front of her parents blue vinyl house and was broadcast nationally on HBO's premiere series "American Undercover". Accolades include the 2002 Excellence in Cinematography Award, an IDA nomination for "Best Documentary", a "Nice Modernist" award from Dwell Magazine, the 2002 Environmental Messenger of the Year from the Environmental Grantmakers Association, a 2002 EPIC Award from the Whitehouse Project and two recent Emmy Nominations for "Best Research and "Best Documentary.”

Judith’s latest film with Dan Gold is Everything’s Cool, a feature documentary about global warming which premiered at Sundance 2007, activist release in November 2007, and a broadcast on the Sundance Channel in January 2008. Judith is the co-founder of Chicken & Egg Pictures, a fund that supports women filmmakers who are working to address the social justice, equity and human rights issues of our time.
Robert West
Co-Founder

Robert West

In fall 2012, Working Films’ Co-founder and Executive Director Robert West was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), an aggressive and terminal brain cancer. This news came as a shock to our board, staff, and the entire Working Films community. Robert embraced it with immense courage, grace, and honesty. He remained passionate about Working Films but, in order to focus on his health and well-being, in early 2013 he decided to step down from his role as Executive Director. In late Spring 2013, Robert passed away. Robert shared his story at the Caring Bridge Site.

Robert West is Co-founder of Working Films with Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and organizer Judith Helfand.

West, as curator of film and video at the Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte NC, from 1985 - 1999, directed a well known and highly respected media program that included a national independent film festival and national touring film programs, including Conflict & Peace: Recent Israeli and Palestinian Film. West was curator of Recollections: Lumbee Heritage; a unique traveling exhibit on NC Native Americans, that continues to tour the Southeast.

West has been a guest lecturer at the University of North Carolina, at Duke University, at New York University and at the NC School of the Arts. West was a board member of the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, a funder of progressive social justice media, for four years; and a member for 2 years of the nominating committee for the Rockefeller Media Fellowships. He was a panel member of Visions: University of North Carolina Center for Public Television; and a panel member of the Media Arts Fellowship Program of the NEA, Creative Capital, the NC Arts Council, the Radziwell Documentary Fund and The Independent Television Service, a production arm of PBS. In 2004, West was a juror at the Full Frame Film Festival. He is a board member of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC).

In 2006, West was a panel member at the Sundance Film Festival, From the Multiplex to the Living Room: Marketing on the New Documentary Landscape, and the moderator for Making Your Documentary Matter: Public Engagement Strategies that Work at the Center for Social Media in 2006 and 2007.

IN MEMORIAM

“He has shown us how to live your death, build community every step of the way,
be awake, loving and present and maintain dignity”

– Judith Helfand, Co-Founder Working Films

In fall 2012, Working Films’ Co-founder and Executive Director Robert West was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), an aggressive and terminal brain cancer. This news came as a shock to our board, staff, and the entire Working Films community. Robert embraced it with immense courage, grace, and honesty. In late Spring 2013, Robert passed away.

If you would like to make your donation in honor of Robert West, Working Films’ co-founder and longtime executive director who passed away in June 2013 please donate directly here to the Robert West Reel Engagement Fund. Like Robert, the work supported by the Fund will be creative and responsive to the needs and opportunities for social change.

 

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