Working Films uses documentaries to advance social justice and environmental protection.

Recognizing the power of film to inspire, we position documentaries to increase civic engagement and shift culture at the local, state, and national level. We offer funding and in-kind support to underrepresented filmmakers. And, we share our learning and foster dialogue to further the field of documentary for change. We lead conversations and trainings with grassroots groups and nonprofits to ensure that nonfiction media is increasingly embraced as a critical resource in their strategies for social change.

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, Southern Partners Fund, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and individual donors.

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STAFF

Andy Myers
Director of Campaigns and Strategy

Andy Myers

Andy Myers (pronoun: he) joined Working Films in 2011 and now serves as the Director of Campaigns and Strategy. A longtime proponent of connecting film with activism, he has led the development and implementation of Working Films' state based film organizing campaigns, and co-leads the Docs in Action film fund, and Rural Cinema. Andy facilitates dozens of partnerships between local, state, regional, and national partners using documentaries to advance their goals for social and environmental justice. He also appreciates music's revolutionary role throughout history and currently plays saxophone in the Asheville-based radical marching band Brass Your Heart.
Hannah Hearn
Impact Coordinator and Fellowships Lead

Hannah Hearn

Hannah Hearn (pronoun: she) joined Working Films in 2018 and is now the Impact Coordinator and Fellowships Lead. She holds a B.A in Film Studies and a Minor in Entrepreneurship & Business Development from UNC Wilmington. In her time at Working Films, Hannah has organized film screenings for action on environmental justice, led and presented sessions on documentary impact and accountability, and co-coordinated programs that highlight, support, and connect underrepresented filmmakers. In her current role, she also oversees Working Films' internship and fellowship programs. Previously, she was the Managing Director of Visions Film Festival & Conference and the Sound Mixer for the feature-length documentary “Dead in the Water” - a film that exposes the harmful practices of factory farms in eastern NC. Throughout her different roles, Hannah continually seeks to learn and think about the creative ways in which independent films can be used for change.

In her down time, you will find her attempting to rollerblade, listening to comedy podcasts, vying for her cat's attention, and spending time with friends and family.
Gerry Leonard
Director of Filmmaker Services and Impact

Gerry Leonard

Gerry (pronoun: he) brings into the field of narrative shift a background in community organizing, blending over 10 years of experience in grassroots movement building and policy advocacy towards social justice and collective liberation. He joined the Working Films team in 2019, and has worked on issues focused on food justice, voting rights, and police accountability as well as a background leading DEI and racial justice efforts. His leadership on a number of coalitions and boards have led to policies to reduce racial profiling within the carceral system, state-wide advocacy initiatives and collaborative funding opportunities for equitable and just community leadership.

Gerry currently serves as the Director of Filmmaker Services & Impact where he leads the design, implementation, and evaluation of services and funding Working Films provides to filmmakers. He is from Jakarta, Indonesia and is based in Brooklyn, NY.
Stephanie Avery Taylor
Director of Finance and Organizational Resilience

Stephanie Avery Taylor

Stephanie Avery Taylor (pronoun: she) came to Working Films in 2018. Her unique, extensive background in racial justice programming, environmental education and finance management allows her to support our work and mission in multiple ways. The Director of Finance and Organizational Resilience will oversee the fiscal and administrative responsibilities of the org, work with our team to uphold organizational goals of dismantling racism, and coordinate local social justice ally’s participation in the annual Works-in-Progress Lab.

In 2009, Stephanie was an honoree of the National Women's History Project for the Youth Environmental Education and Eco-Camps she created, which inspire children to become good stewards and protectors 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 Director of Racial Justice at the YWCA she worked with other local organizers to bring an inventive education series, The History of Wilmington in Black and White to the area. Daughter of an Issei and raised in NC. Studied Philosophy & World Religions with a focus on Asian Studies at Coastal Carolina University and UNCW.

On occasion, you will find her teaching kids cooking classes centered on introducing cultures through food. In her downtime, she enjoys playing music, cooking, hiking, exploring and spending time with family.
Anna Lee
Director of Learning and Development

Anna Lee

Anna Lee (pronoun: she) serves as the Director of Learning and Development at 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
Director of Partnerships and Innovation

Molly Murphy

Molly Murphy (pronoun: she) joined Working Films in 2001 and now serves as Director of Partnerships and Innovation. In her twenty year tenure, she has planned and directed impact campaigns, facilitated partnerships and coordinated coalitions centered around the use of documentaries to catalyze progress on the biggest issues of our time. Molly has designed and led dozens of trainings, for filmmakers and changemakers, focused on leveraging the power of film to make an impact. In her current role, she is responsible for Working Films’ external relations, forging connections in the documentary film industry and within social justice movements, and lifting up Working Films’ approach and learnings, while building with allies to increase our collective impact. Molly co-leads Working Films’ fundraising efforts and is part of the team of directors responsible for organizational and programmatic strategy and sustainability.

Molly is part of the Documentary Accountability Working Group and on the steering committee of the Global Impact Producers Assembly. She also serves on the board of Justice for My Sister (JFMS), a collective that trains women of color, non-binary youth, and foster youth with a culturally-relevant and trauma-informed approach to tell stories through a gender equity and racial justice lens.

In her spare time, you can find her listening and dancing to music, gardening and staring at nature, playing basketball, and spending time with her family on the coast of North Carolina.

BOARD

Felix Endara
Chair

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.
Kim Pevia
Vice Chair

Kim Pevia

Kim Pevia is an experienced life strategist, an engaging keynote speaker, and a skilled workshop facilitator. Her workshops are experiential and transformational. She specializes in identifying the issues that keep us stuck and addresses them by developing a personalized toolbox to help us hurdle over them. Her favorite work is done in circles. Her favorite topics include Emotional intelligence, Gifts of Conflict, Impacts of Historical Trauma, Cultural Healing, Innocuous Nature of Fear, most of which she includes in Race, Equity and Inclusion work. Born and educated in Baltimore, MD she currently lives in Robeson County, NC where her roots run deep as a member of the Lumbee Tribe.


She serves on many local, state and national boards that support community activism and local economy through arts, food, culture and tourism. She recently served as Chair of the Board of Alternate Roots. In 2015 she founded Artist Market-Pembroke, providing retail opportunities for local and regional artists in southeast North Carolina. Her love of community and films is expressed as the curator of the annual Lumbee Film Festival (along with Cucalorus) and the quarterly CommUnity Cinema (in partnership with Working Films). She expresses her creativity as a writer and workshop/training facilitator.
Angel Dozier
Treasurer

Angel Dozier

Angel Iset Dozier is an activist, creative, educator and founder of Be Connected Durham, a community initiative connecting audiences, addressing disparities, fostering equity, and bridging access gaps through the arts, culture, music, and politics. She is a hip hop film and music lover and has used yoga, dance, literature, and golden era hip hop, specifically, to drive her work as a world languages instructor and curriculum specialist within public, private and Montessori school systems.

Through Be Connected Durham, Angel has emerged as an urban visionary, championing community initiatives that connect organizations like Duke Performances, Carolina Performing Arts, Airolina Young Aviators, SheaMoisture, and more, to their authentically diverse target audiences. Each of Be Connected Durham’s projects serve as campaigns to affect positive change for marginalized, yet highly capable and valuable contributors to our society.
Esther Cassidy
Secretary

Esther Cassidy

Esther Cassidy is an independent documentary producer and director, who has also joined the producing teams of acclaimed filmmakers. The films she has worked on focus on social justice and human rights including: U.S. intervention in El Salvador, opposition to the death penalty, civil rights, women's rights, and workers' right to strike and safety on the job. She is also a nonprofit development professional who has raised millions of dollars for arts and service organizations in New York City provide artistic trainings and supportive services to disadvantaged youth, at-risk LGBTQ youth, and low-income media artists from diverse ethnic and cultural communities.
Betty Yu
Board Member

Betty Yu

Betty Yu is a multimedia artist, filmmaker, educator, and activist born and raised in NYC to Chinese immigrant parents. Ms. Yu integrates documentary film, new media platforms, and community-infused approaches into her practice, and she is a co-founder Chinatown Art Brigade, a cultural collective using art to advance anti-gentrification organizing. Ms. Yu has been awarded artist residencies and Fellowships with institutions such as the Laundromat Project, International Studio & Curatorial Program, the Intercultural Leadership Institute, and SPACE at Ryder Farm. Her work has been presented at the Directors Guild of America, Brooklyn Museum, Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, Tribeca Film Festival's Interactive Showcase, The Eastman Kodak Museum, and the 2019 BRIC Biennial; and in 2018 she had a solo exhibition at Open Source Gallery in New York. In 2017 Ms. Yu won the Aronson Journalism for Social Justice Award for her film Three Tours about U.S. veterans returning home from war in Iraq, and their journey to overcome PTSD. She holds a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a MFA from Hunter College, and currently teaches video, social practice, art and activism at Pratt Institute, John Jay College, and The New School, in addition to 20 her years of community, media justice, and labor organizing work.
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.
Ellen Bollinger
Board Member

Ellen Bollinger

Ellen Bollinger consults for reality-respecting news organizations to drive advertising revenue, writes marketing materials and, with her husband, sells advertising and produces events for a cannabis news organization, based in California.

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 years as VP Advertising with The Nation magazine, 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 in New Orleans on coastal restoration and sustainable flora and fauna.
Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith
Board Member

Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith

Director Inclusion and Diversity Learning Development Specialist, founder of Pearl Girls Academy, Inc. Radio Personality and Community Advocate, for all things diverse, Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith is no newcomer to motivational programming for both young people and adults.

Her One Race® program for children in grades K-5 has earned the admiration of school administrators for several years. One Race® offers an interactive and thought-provoking view of a day-in-the-life of children around the world. The program employs music, authentic artifacts and literature, and takes students on an imaginary worldwide trip to celebrate what distinguishes them from their neighbors, while revealing numerous similarities.

Pearl Girls Academy, a self-esteem program for girls, evolved from Kimberly’s own experiences of raising a teenage girl. As often as she could, Kimberly researched statistics on preteen and teen girl violence, body image, dating, and other issues. She became a certified facilitator for "Safe Dates," a program designed to help curb domestic violence among young daters. And, as school violence and gang influences became evident, Kimberly coordinated a forum entitled Youth Violence in Our Community, which has now become an annual event.

Her continued research led to an understanding of the key issues most girls face, while also recognizing that the skills to face these issues were sorely lacking. Pearl Girls Academy is the result of that work. When it was first offered to summer camps in 2005, the response was immediately positive and productive. The next school year, Murray Middle School asked Kimberly to bring the program in as an enrichment organization for selected girls. By the following school year, word of the program had spread. Eventually every middle school in New Hanover County, requested to have Pearl Girls Academy on campus.

Kimberly has also served as the Racial Justice Director of the YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear. In her time with the organization, developed and implemented programs and created alliances throughout the community. The end goal as always was to aid in establishing common ground, among people of different ethnic backgrounds. Kimberly designed the YWCA Cultural Competency Training workshops, utilized in those times throughout the county. She currently serves as the UNC Wilmington Inclusion and Diversity Learning Development Specialist. Her role is based in the Human Resources

Kimberly was named Woman of the Year by the New Hanover County Human Relations Commission. She has served on various boards for non-profit organizations within the community. Kimberly is also the “Night Nurse,” a radio personality on Coastal Carolina’s Modern Rock 98.7, where she continues to advocate cross cultural understanding through reggae and world music.
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.
Paige Wood
Board Member

Paige Wood

Paige Wood is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, and creative consultant. Born in Detroit, Paige has produced and/or co-written a number of critically-acclaimed documentary and narrative films since the start of her freelance career in 2018. Currently, Paige serves as the Supervising Producer for the Rise-Home Stories Project, which features over five narrative-shifting multimedia projects supported by The Ford Foundation, in addition to serving as an adjunct instructor at Wayne State University. Paige is a 2020 Kresge Artist Fellow, an alumni of Firelight Media's 2018-2019 Impact Producer Cohort, as well as a 2019 Sundance Institute | Knight Foundation Program fellow.
Peter Miller
Board Member

Peter Miller

Peter Miller is an Emmy and Peabody-award winning filmmaker whose documentaries have screened in cinemas and on television throughout the world. Among his films are A.K.A. DOC POMUS, JEWS AND BASEBALL, SACCO AND VANZETTI, THE INTERNATIONALE (Oscar short list), and with Carlos Sandoval, A CLASS APART for PBS’s American Experience, now being adapted as a feature film executive produced by Eva Longoria. Peter co-directed ROBERT SHAW: MAN OF MANY VOICES, winner of three Emmy Awards, for PBS American Masters, and produced Ken Rosenberg’s BEDLAM, about serious mental illness, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, for PBS Independent Lens. He is currently collaborating with filmmakers Peggy Stern and Justin Schein on DO NO HARM, a documentary series for PBS about Palliative Care, and is directing and producing MARCELLA, a biography of the legendary food writer Marcella Hazan.

Peter has been a producer on numerous documentaries by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, including the PBS series JAZZ, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, and THE WAR. He has served in producing roles on landmark documentaries including THE UPRISING OF ’34, PASSIN’ IT ON, the Academy Award-winning AMERICAN DREAM, and many other celebrated films. He works regularly as a script consultant, writer, and music supervisor. More about his work is at willowpondfilms.com
Tracy Rector
Board Member

Tracy Rector

Tracy Rector is a filmmaker, curator, community organizer, and programmer. Currently, she is serving as the Managing Director of Storytelling at Nia Tero, a non-profit committed to supporting Indigenous governance and guardianship. She has directed and produced over 400 shorts and other films and is in production on her sixth feature documentary Outta the Muck with support from ITVS. As an impact producer, Tracy served on the team for the Emmy Award winning feature documentary Dawnland, which premiered on Independent Lens’ 2018/19 season to 2.1 million viewers in its opening week. Her work has also been featured in National Geographic, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian.

Tracy is the co-founder of Longhouse Media, which was a non-profit focused on galvanizing Indigenous and local communities through film production. From 2005 to 2021, they worked with over 50 tribal nations and helped train 3,000 young people. Tracy has received the National Association for Media Literacy Education Award, 2016 Stranger Genius Award, and the Horace Mann Award for her work in utilizing media for social justice. She is a Firelight Media Fellow, WGBH Producer Fellow, Sundance Institute Lab Fellow, and Tribeca All Access Grantee. Tracy’s first major museum installation opened in June 2018 at the Seattle Art Museum. Tracy serves as a Mize Foundation board member, senior programmer at the Seattle International Film Festival, and recently completed her second term as a Seattle Arts Commissioner. She is a mother of two young men.

IN MEMORIAM

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!