Yoruba RichenDirector / Producer / Writer

Yoruba is a documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad including Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.   Her latest film The New Black  premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June  and went on to win Audience Awards at AFI Docs and Philly Q Fest and  Frameline LGBT Film Festival as well as a special jury mention at Frameline.   The film continues to play festivals all over the world and will open at New York’s Film Forum next February and air on PBS’s Independent Lens next June.  Yoruba has received numerous grants including from ITVS, The Sundance Documentary Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures,  and the Ford Foundation. She won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was also a Sundance producers’ fellow.

Yoruba’s previous film Promised Land, received a Diverse Voices Co-Production fund award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and was broadcast on  PBS’s POV in 2010.  In 2007, Yoruba won a Fulbright award in filmmaking and traveled to Salvador, Brazil, where she began production on Sisters of the Good Death, a documentary about the oldest African women's association in the Americas and the annual festival they hold celebrating the end of slavery.   Prior to that, Yoruba was the co-producer of Take it From Me, a documentary exploring the effects of welfare reform on New York City women, which was broadcast on POV in 2001.  She was also an associate producer for the investigative unit of ABC News as well as a producer for the independent news program Democracy Now.  Yoruba teaches documentary film at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and is a Guggenheim Fellow.

Yvonne Welbon Producer

Yvonne Welbon has produced and distributed over 20 films including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis@ 100, winner of ten best documentary awards—including the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary, and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors. Her films have screened on PBS, Starz/Encore, TV-ONE, IFC, Bravo, the Sundance Channel, BET, HBO and in over one hundred film festivals around the world. She is currently developing a documentary about black artists in China and producing Sisters in the Life: 25 Years of Out African American Lesbian Media-making—a web based online community building project that includes a book of essays, a documentary, an archive and a mobile app. Originally from Chicago, Welbon received a B.A. from Vassar College, an M.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She is also a graduate of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women. Welbon is an assistant professor in the journalism and media studies department at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC.

Angela Tucker Co-Producer

Angela is a writer, director and producer. Her directorial work includes (A)sexual, a feature length documentary about people who experience no sexual attraction available on iTunes and VOD and Black Folk Don’t, a satirical documentary web series in its third season featured in Time Magazine’s “10 Ideas That Are Changing Your Life.” Angela is also the Series Producer for the PBS documentary series, AfroPop. She was the Director of Production at Big Mouth Films, a social issue documentary production company that was a project of Arts Engine, Inc. There she produced several award winning documentaries including Pushing the Elephant (PBS’ Independent Lens) about a Congolese mother and daughter separated over 12 years. She received her MFA in Film from Columbia University where she was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship. Angela is based in Brooklyn, NY and can be followed on Twitter @tuckergurl.

Ali MuneyEditor

Ali Muney is a New York based editor. She has edited two feature documentaries for ITVS and several short films shown worldwide at Cannes, Tribeca Film Festival, Palm Springs ShortFest, Mill Valley, Woodstock and Frameline film festivals. Ali began her career as an assistant editor for narrative films helmed by directors such as George C. Wolfe, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tamara Jenkins.

Erin CasperEditor / Writer

Erin Casper’s editing credits include American Promise (POV 2014), which won the Special Jury Prize for Achievement in Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Full Frame Film Festival. Her other credits include Sundance Editing Award winner Detropia (as Associate Editor), and Our School, which was nominated for a Gopo Award for Best Documentary in Romania’s top film awards and has been shown and honored at festivals and institutions around the world, including Tribeca, Visions du Réel, and Silverdocs for which it won the top festival Sterling Award prize in 2011. Erin was the inaugural recipient for the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship in 2011 and an editing fellow at the Sundance Institute Documentary Edit Lab in 2009.

Nadia HallgrenCinematographer

Nadia Hallgren is a filmmaker and cinematographer from the Bronx, NY. Her camera credits include Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, the Academy Award nominated Trouble The Water, And HBO’s War Don Don. As director, Nadia is a Cinereach fellow whose most recent film Love Lockdown premiered at the SXSW film festival, and won best short film at HBO’s Urbanworld film festival. Her other film Sanza Hanza, a documentary about teenage train surfers in Soweto, South Africa was acquired by PBS.

Garland McLaurinCinematographer

Garland has worked in television and film in the United States and abroad for over ten years. He recently Co-Directed/Produced on 180 Days: A Year Inside An American School which aired on PBS. Prior to this he Field Produced on Black in America 4, for CNN. Other professional credits include Producer/Shooter on the BET’s Special Homecoming: The Killing of DJ Henry, Videographer for One Day, One Destiny a production of National Black Programming Consortium’s broadcast series AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange and Field Producing on the TV One series Murder In Black and White.

 He holds a BA in Radio-TV-Film from Howard University and an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate film school.

Veena RaoAssociate Producer

Veena Rao is a New York based documentary filmmaker and producer. Her short documentaries have screened at festivals worldwide and have aired on Current TV and the Documentary Channel. She has also produced content for various publications and organizations including The New Yorker and the Guggenheim Museum. She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a member of New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) and Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective (BFC).

Samantha Stark Associate Producer

Samantha Stark is a video journalist whose work regularly appears on Her videos have screened on Afropop, NPR. org, JetBlue airlines and at The Hong Kong International AIDS Film Festival. She received an Emmy-nomination for her contribution to The New York Times’ multimedia series “Coming Out,” about LGBT high school students. She has a M.A. from CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism.

laurel-AFIdocsWinner laurel-Qfest laurel-FramelineWinner laurel-UrbanWorldBestDoc laurel-LAfilmfestival laurel-HumanRightsWatch laurel-SouthernCircuit

The New Black

The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. Continue Reading

Latest Tweets