Introducing All Y’all: Southern Documentary Collective

“Southern filmmakers and media artists have joined forces to cultivate media that complicates Southern identity and grapples with the political and cultural nuances of our communities.”

During a Memorial Day ceremony at a family cemetery on Kayford Mountain, Hillary Hosta, an anti-mountaintop removal activist from Ottawa, ON, carries a young bird found on the path to the 300-year-old cemetery that can only be accessed with permission of the coal company.  Chad A. Stevens / A Thousand Little Cuts
During a Memorial Day ceremony at a family cemetery on Kayford Mountain, Hillary Hosta, an anti-mountaintop removal activist from Ottawa, ON, carries a young bird found on the path to the 300-year-old cemetery that can only be accessed with permission of the coal company. Chad A. Stevens / A Thousand Little Cuts

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of All Y’all: Southern Documentary Collective, a group of 15 media makers­ ­from West Virginia to Texas­­ who aim to bring Southern voices front and center into national discussions. All Y’all is a group of nonfiction makers who were either born and raised or chose to make work in the South and Appalachia. Our proximity and experience with the stories we tell, and the places we represent, creates a rich and intimate story experience. We create films, photographs, and interactive media that represent the South as a complex and diverse place that is continually transforming.

We are experienced producers, directors, cinematographers and editors with deep roots in the communities we document, and significant professional experience in the field. We live and work in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and Florida.

Our respective films have premiered all over the world, from SXSW, Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival, to IDFA, CPH:DOX and Rotterdam International Film Festival. We have received individual recognition and support from the Peabody Awards, World Press Photo Awards, the Emmy Awards, Sundance Institute, Cinema Eye Honors, Firelight Media, Ford Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures, IFP, ITVS, James Beard Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Arte. We work with publishers and broadcasters, including TIME, The Documentary Channel, CNN Big Story, New York Times Op­Docs, Mashable, Independent Lens and the Washington Post, among others to tell stories from our region.

A full list of our producers can be found here.

BayouMaharajah-LilyKeberAll Y’all emerged in early 2016 when filmmakers Darcy McKinnon and Elaine McMillion Sheldon (“Hollow”) met at the Sundance Film Festival and shared mutual concerns about popular nonfiction depictions of the South and Appalachia. Depictions that are largely produced by media makers who have little connection to the traditions, struggles, contradictions and shared concerns of the South.

“We believe that the perspective and artistic talent of Southern documentary producers is undervalued nationally,” said co­founder Darcy McKinnon. “By working together to highlight the quality work of Southern makers, we can amplify their voices and work.”

All­ Y’all aims to spur collaboration among makers in the South by building a network that can support and lead innovative documentary projects, bring resources and opportunities to Southern makers, and promote and amplify contemporary non­fiction work in both digital and physical spaces. The collective launches with supporting organizational partners like the New Orleans Video Access Center, Appalshop and Looking at Appalachia, with more to come. The initial group of filmmakers will have their first collective retreat at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival, with a series of educational events, screenings and press events in 2017.

Filmmakers interested in joining the collective should make inquiries at http://all-­yall.org/joinus. We are interested in working filmmakers with a feature documentary or similar project completed, who have received attention for their work outside of the region, who are residents of Southern states, and whose work reflects and engagement with the communities in which they live, as well as the shared and divergent themes of Southern identity.

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Learn about the 15 award­-winning Southern media makers who have teamed up to form #AllYall Documentary Collective: http://www.all­-yall.org/.

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