Sally Ruben Co-Director

Sally is a documentary filmmaker and editor who has worked in the field for more than 15 years. Her mother is from Calderwood, Tennessee, a hollow in the Smoky mountains. She grew up visiting Appalachia and has been spending time with family and friends in the region for many years. Sally recently completed Life on the Line, a documentary about a teenage girl living on the border of the US and Mexico — a Fledgling Fund recipient that premiered in 2014 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and across the country on PBS.

Her previous film, Deep Down (co-directed by Jen Gilomen), was an ITVS, MacArthur, Chicken and Egg, and Fledgling-funded feature-length documentary about two friends in eastern Kentucky who find themselves divided over mountaintop removal coal mining near their homes. The film was part of the 2010-2011 Independent Lens Emmy-winning PBS series, and has reached almost 1.5 million people through its broadcast, distribution, and outreach campaign. It was nominated for an Emmy for its Virtual Mine outreach project, in the category of New Approaches to News and Documentary.

Sally’s other credits include The Last Mountain, a film about her father’s death in a hiking accident that was broadcast on PBS, Robert Greenwald’s Iraq for Sale: the War Profiteers, (Editor), and the television series “The Freedom Files” (Editor), as well as David Sutherland’s 6-hour Frontline special Country Boys, about two boys in Floyd County, Kentucky (Associate Producer), and “Riverwebs” (Editor), which broadcast nationally on PBS.

She recently completed a short that aired in conjunction with David Sutherland’s Kind Hearted Woman on Frontline in 2013. In 2004, Sally founded the groundbreaking Straight Outta Grrrlville Film Festival in San Francisco, and continues to produce local events and benefits for artists and filmmakers, in conjunction with her own continued work.

Sally is also full-time documentary professor at Chapman University and a graduate of the M.A. program in Documentary at Stanford University.

Ashley York Co-Director

Ashley is a Kentucky-born mediamaker and film producer who is interested in documentaries, socially conscious media, and emerging modes of storytelling. She has worked on Academy Award® nominated teams and as a producer on projects that have premiered at the Sundance, Berlin, and SXSW film festivals as well as on Oprah Winfrey’s Network, A&E, IFC, HBO, Discovery, and the Sundance Channel.

She co-directed and produced Tig, an Official Selection of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Ashley was one of nine women debuting a feature film at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Ashley is committed to a feminist approach and intrigued by work that intersects the emotional and ideological. She is inspired greatly by the work of bell hooks, the late AimĂ© J. Ellis and Susan Sontag, and Silas House. She produced two 2011 Sundance Film Festival Official selections: Becoming Chaz, about Chaz Bono’s gender transition; and GRAB, about the Laguna Pueblo tribe in New Mexico.

She is a member of Women in Film, the International Documentary Association, and a founding member of the Los Angeles-based design collective, Take Action Games, which has been recognized for its commitment to highlighting issues that affect women and girls and partnered with various social justice and mission-based organizations to make digital activist projects, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the International Crisis Group, the Independent Television Service, and the Center for Asian American Media. Take Action Games received an Emmy Award nomination in the category of New Approaches to News and Documentary Film as well as the prestigious Governors’ Award from the Academy of Arts & Sciences (the Emmy’s highest honor) for a campaign co-produced by mtvU to raise awareness about the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan.

Ashley received her BA in journalism from the University of Kentucky and her MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts where she currently teaches.