Lara Embry, Co-Director and Co-Producer A clinical psychologist and writer. She was awarded the Justice Prize by the National Center for Lesbian Rights in 2009, and worked on behalf of LGBT rights through her past work as Co-Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for The Trevor Project, a national suicide prevention service for young LGBTQ people.  Embry currently has a children’s book in publication with Random House called Mean Marlene which focuses on a child who learns to stop bullying.  As a psychologist, she conducted research and published in the areas of resilience, family psychology, youth homelessness and psychobiology. Her private practice focused on issues related to adolescent development, family dynamics, sexual and gender identity, anxiety and depression. 

Lara Embry, Co-Director and Co-Producer

A clinical psychologist and writer. She was awarded the Justice Prize by the National Center for Lesbian Rights in 2009, and worked on behalf of LGBT rights through her past work as Co-Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for The Trevor Project, a national suicide prevention service for young LGBTQ people.  Embry currently has a children’s book in publication with Random House called Mean Marlene which focuses on a child who learns to stop bullying.  As a psychologist, she conducted research and published in the areas of resilience, family psychology, youth homelessness and psychobiology. Her private practice focused on issues related to adolescent development, family dynamics, sexual and gender identity, anxiety and depression. 

Carolyn Sherer, Co-Director and Co-Producer A fine-art photographer and the artist whose work inspired the film Alabama Bound. She is interested in issues of identity and social justice. Her early work, portraits of people with disabilities, was shown internationally and published as an award winning book, Just As I Am: Americans with Disabilities. Sherer’s recent photography exhibitions, Living in Limbo: Lesbian Families in the Deep South (2012) and Family Matters: LGBTQ Youth Perspectives (2014) put a face on a previously invisible community in Alabama.  Both shows opened at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to record breaking crowds, in a city ready for this conversation about equality. The photographs have since been exhibited at other venues, including the Dallas African American Museum, Miami Art Basel, the Stonewall National Museum, PAFA, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Art Museum of South Texas. The transformational effect of narrative visual art as advocacy and her commitment to having southerners tell their own story, motivated Sherer to join this team to create her first film.

Carolyn ShererCo-Director and Co-Producer

A fine-art photographer and the artist whose work inspired the film Alabama Bound. She is interested in issues of identity and social justice. Her early work, portraits of people with disabilities, was shown internationally and published as an award winning book, Just As I Am: Americans with Disabilities. Sherer’s recent photography exhibitions, Living in Limbo: Lesbian Families in the Deep South (2012) and Family Matters: LGBTQ Youth Perspectives (2014) put a face on a previously invisible community in Alabama.  Both shows opened at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to record breaking crowds, in a city ready for this conversation about equality. The photographs have since been exhibited at other venues, including the Dallas African American Museum, Miami Art Basel, the Stonewall National Museum, PAFA, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Art Museum of South Texas. The transformational effect of narrative visual art as advocacy and her commitment to having southerners tell their own story, motivated Sherer to join this team to create her first film.

Michele Forman, Producer A documentary filmmaker and co-founder and director of University of Alabama at Birmingham Media Studies Program  a social justice documentary filmmaking program. Over 300 short documentaries have been produced in partnership with local communities.  In addition to her own academic program, Forman founded Documenting Justice at the University of Alabama and the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship.  Forman gained her experience as an executive in feature films at Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks where she was responsible for the acquisition and development of new projects.  Since 1997, Forman has been directing and producing documentary projects for film and television, earning an Emmy nomination in 2001 for Coat of Many Colors. She served as associate producer on Spike Lee's Academy Award-nominated film 4 Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the bombing of the Sixteenth Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.  Forman began her film work at Harvard University, where she double-majored in English and Visual and Environmental Studies.  Her work has been broadcast on HBO, Independent Film Channel, Sundance Channel, and public television.

Michele Forman, Producer

A documentary filmmaker and co-founder and director of University of Alabama at Birmingham Media Studies Program  a social justice documentary filmmaking program. Over 300 short documentaries have been produced in partnership with local communities.  In addition to her own academic program, Forman founded Documenting Justice at the University of Alabama and the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship.  Forman gained her experience as an executive in feature films at Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks where she was responsible for the acquisition and development of new projects.  Since 1997, Forman has been directing and producing documentary projects for film and television, earning an Emmy nomination in 2001 for Coat of Many Colors. She served as associate producer on Spike Lee's Academy Award-nominated film 4 Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the bombing of the Sixteenth Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.  Forman began her film work at Harvard University, where she double-majored in English and Visual and Environmental Studies.  Her work has been broadcast on HBO, Independent Film Channel, Sundance Channel, and public television.

 
Eileen Meyer, Producer and Editor A freelance film editor and producer currently living in Los Angeles. Her latest film, Best of Enemies, is a co-production of ITVS and premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.  She has Associate Produced numerous projects including Rehearsing a Dream (Oscar Nominated 2007, Best Documentary Short), Locks of Love: The Kindest Cut (HBO), Coming Out Stories (LOGO) and The First 48 (A&E). Since 2008, she has focused her career on editing, including an Emmy Award-winning documentary web series for MTV ($5 Cover Amplified), and a narrative short, The Thing that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. 

Eileen Meyer, Producer and Editor

A freelance film editor and producer currently living in Los Angeles. Her latest film, Best of Enemies, is a co-production of ITVS and premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.  She has Associate Produced numerous projects including Rehearsing a Dream (Oscar Nominated 2007, Best Documentary Short), Locks of Love: The Kindest Cut (HBO), Coming Out Stories (LOGO) and The First 48 (A&E). Since 2008, she has focused her career on editing, including an Emmy Award-winning documentary web series for MTV ($5 Cover Amplified), and a narrative short, The Thing that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. 

Lauren Jacobs, Associate Producer A recent graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in Telecommunication and Film. She contributed to various documentary projects, including a half-hour television show Alabama Art Seen, which profiled artists living and working in Alabama and aired on WVUA-TV. Lauren served as a leader of UA's LGBTQ student group Spectrum, helping to coordinate the Southeastern LGBTQ Student Conference in 2013, which brought together LGBTQ students from high schools and universities from across the region. Lauren is currently a Youth Outreach Coordinator for Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC) where she provides supportive services for LGBTQ identified youth. MCAC opened as a project of Birmingham AIDS Outreach in 2014 and is the first direct-service provider LGBTQ youth to LGBTQ youth in Birmingham. She has been a contributing editor for autostraddle.com, the world’s most popular independently owned lesbian website, where she has published writing on pop culture and LGBTQ issues.  

Lauren Jacobs, Associate Producer

A recent graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in Telecommunication and Film. She contributed to various documentary projects, including a half-hour television show Alabama Art Seen, which profiled artists living and working in Alabama and aired on WVUA-TV. Lauren served as a leader of UA's LGBTQ student group Spectrum, helping to coordinate the Southeastern LGBTQ Student Conference in 2013, which brought together LGBTQ students from high schools and universities from across the region. Lauren is currently a Youth Outreach Coordinator for Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC) where she provides supportive services for LGBTQ identified youth. MCAC opened as a project of Birmingham AIDS Outreach in 2014 and is the first direct-service provider LGBTQ youth to LGBTQ youth in Birmingham. She has been a contributing editor for autostraddle.com, the world’s most popular independently owned lesbian website, where she has published writing on pop culture and LGBTQ issues.

 

Chris Hilleke, Director of Photography A DP and cinematographer whose more notable feature-length work include: Trapped, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, the HBO documentary Gideon’s Army, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival; the award-winning Man In The Glass: The Dale Brown Story; the sex comedy Autoerotic with Joe Swanberg; and the thriller A Horrible Way To Die with longtime collaborator Adam Wingard. A Horrible Way To Die premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010. Hilleke’s commercial clients include U.S. Space Camp, Mercedes-Benz, Subway, and Southern Progress. Between gigs as a director of photography he has managed to produce a slew of his own award-winning, short narrative and documentary films including the 2009 Sidewalk Film Festival's Audience Choice Award Winner Some Of What I Know About Tommy, which follows a man struggling with paranoid schizophrenia. 

Chris Hilleke, Director of Photography

A DP and cinematographer whose more notable feature-length work include: Trapped, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, the HBO documentary Gideon’s Army, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival; the award-winning Man In The Glass: The Dale Brown Story; the sex comedy Autoerotic with Joe Swanberg; and the thriller A Horrible Way To Die with longtime collaborator Adam Wingard. A Horrible Way To Die premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010. Hilleke’s commercial clients include U.S. Space Camp, Mercedes-Benz, Subway, and Southern Progress. Between gigs as a director of photography he has managed to produce a slew of his own award-winning, short narrative and documentary films including the 2009 Sidewalk Film Festival's Audience Choice Award Winner Some Of What I Know About Tommy, which follows a man struggling with paranoid schizophrenia. 

This film was only possible because of our extremely supportive community, primarily in Birmingham, AL—the heart of the civil rights movement.