For 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.
Our work is made possible with generous support from the Ford Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Kendeda Fund, Perspective Fund, Putnam Foundation, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and individual donors.
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STAFF & BOARD
Natalie Bullock Brown
Stephanie Avery Taylor
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.
Sara Zia Ebrahimi
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.
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.
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,
Omisade Burney Scott
Omisade is a New Bern, NC native and a 1989 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel and is a member of the 1999-01 class of the William C. Friday Fellows for Human Relations and a 2003 Southeastern Council on Foundation’s Hull Fellow. She is a founding tribe member of SpiritHouse and a board member of The Beautiful Project, Village of Wisdom, and Working Films. Omi resides in Durham and is the proud mother of two sons, Che and Taj.
Undergraduate work at New College in Sarasota, FL resulted in a degree in Psychological Anthropology with a Theater Minor. An entry level job with a theatrical PR firm in the Sardi’s building on West 44th Street gave her a good understanding of ‘earned’ media and a permanent love for the theater and media crowd who convened at the second-floor bar. Those contacts soon resulted in her sales position with The NYT where, over the span of a decade, she went on to win two Publishers Award for new business development and MVP trophies for their Co-Ed softball championship team.
During sixteen later years with The Nation, Ellen worked with documentary filmmakers and distributors to build awareness and attendance for their films, often attending Sundance, Woodstock Film Festival and Docs NYC.
Additionally, Ellen serves on the Board of a friends group of the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area to support the National Park Service in conservation of endangered species, environmental protections and cultural awareness of historic sites in northeastern Monmouth County, NJ as well as Communications Director of a local chapter of Indivisible.
Her husband is a writer and creator of healthy cocktails and their son works for AmeriCorps at the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.
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.
Lisa Kleiner Chanoff
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 Chatoo
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.
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 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.
If you would like to make a 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.
Funds contributed to the Robert West Reel Engagement Fund will be used to honor Robert’s legacy and vision, and to support rapid response campaign development on timely environmental and social justice issues!