About Us

Vision

Our mission is to create cultural awareness and strategic, sustainable justice through transformative, community-based production and impactful distribution of media.

Behind the scenes on the set of Chavela.
Behind the scenes on the set of "Chavela."
Aubin team meeting at the original SoHo location.
Aubin team meeting at the original SoHo location.

The stories we tell frame the culture in which we live. Narratives uphold fundamental assumptions by which we interpret and understand the world. We encounter stories everywhere — in headlines and political discourse, institutions and pop culture. Though practices are shifting, right now we live within a mainstream story structure that, fundamentally, is not a friend of women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people living with disabilities, people who have experienced incarceration, or people who have immigrated. This fact turns people into statistics and embeds harmful narratives in our cultural fabric and institutions. As filmmakers who care deeply about social justice, it is our job to find ways to reveal, challenge, and change damaging mainstream narratives. 

As Manning Marable said, “Numbers cannot communicate the human face of economic misery.” But storytelling can. Where there is trauma, filmmaking paves ways to healing. Where there is injustice, documentaries expose it and imagine our just future.

Storytellers understand the forces that are behind the statistics and can create the conditions for change. We are able to reimagine the rules our society lives by, shape the way in which problems and priorities are identified, and build narrative power. This is what Aubin Pictures strives to achieve.

Values

Our work is collaborative and justice-driven. We make films about our people, communities, and movements. We are intersectional and intergenerational. We are based in family. Our values inform our social practices across our organizational programs and are baked into the media we produce and the campaigns we launch.

We believe in

  • Imagination
  • Community
  • Collaboration
  • equity, inclusion, intersectional feminism & anti-racism work
  • Narrative Power

Origin Story

Since 1996 Aubin Pictures has been committed to justice-driven storytelling to illuminate change.

Aubin Pictures, Inc. was founded in 1996 by queer documentary filmmaker and lifelong activist Catherine Gund and organizer and scholar Scot Nakagawa. Disillusioned with popular media’s portrayals of HIV- and AIDS-affected youth in the 1980s, Catherine directed a number of short works with Paper Tiger Television and co-founded DIVA TV, a video-documenting affinity group within ACT UP. In the early 1990s, Catherine was the producer of the four-part PBS series, Positive: Life With HIV. Understanding the power of documentary to change the dominant media narrative, Catherine and Scot created Aubin Pictures to make films that catalyze social change. Aubin’s first film, When Democracy Works, was directed by Catherine and written and narrated by Scot. Scot has served on Aubin’s board of directors since the organization’s inception.

Naming

Aubin / Au'bin / noun

The name “Aubin” lived with Catherine Gund’s family for some time. First it was proposed as a potential name for Catherine when she was born, and later she considered naming her first child “Aubin.” Eventually, “Aubin” found its home as the name of Catherine’s nonprofit documentary film production company, which she founded with Scot Nakagawa the same year her daughter was born. A little etymology: Aubin is a French given name variant of Albin, from the Roman Albinus and from the Latin albus meaning “bright.” At its core, Aubin Pictures strives to shine bright lights on the social justice issues that matter most, illuminating change one film at a time.

Community

The Aubin Pictures community, fondly called the “Aubin Family,” is our network of creatives and activists. We’re filmmakers, directors, sound designers, camera people, writers, academics, organizers, students, parents, community leaders, nonprofit professionals, mediamakers, and more.

Aubin Pictures community
The Aggie's crew at the film's Hammer Museum Screening in Los Angeles.
Audience members.
Audience members of an Aubin Pictures film screening.
The Aubin family at Sundance Film Festival.
Members of the Aubin family at Sundance Film Festival for the Aggie premiere.

People

Aubin Pictures is an organization for filmmakers and activists that’s run by filmmakers and activists. We’re embedded in our community as artists, advocates, philanthropists, and creatives, and we work to continually evolve to address our stakeholders' needs and ambitions.

Catherine Gund

Catherine Gund

Founder and Director

Founder and Director of Aubin Pictures, Catherine Gund is an Emmy-nominated producer, director, writer, and activist. Her media work focuses on strategic and sustainable social transformation, racial justice, arts and culture, HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice, and environmental justice. Her films have screened around the world in hundreds of festivals, theaters, museums, and schools; on PBS, the Discovery Channel, Sundance Channel, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

Her most recent films include: Aggie (Sundance, Doc Fortnight), Primera (Tribeca), Dispatches From Cleveland (CIFF, MSPIFF), Chavela (Berlinale, Hot Docs, Ambulante), America, Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity, What’s On Your Plate?, A Touch of Greatness, Motherland Afghanistan, Making Grace, On Hostile Ground, and Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance.

Gund currently serves on the boards of Art For Justice, Art Matters, Baldwin for the Arts, and The George Gund Foundation. She co-founded the Third Wave Foundation which supports young women and transgender youth, and DIVA TV, an affinity group of ACT UP/NY. She was the founding director of BENT TV, the video workshop for LGBT youth. She was on the founding boards of Bard Early Colleges, Iris House, Working Films, Reality Dance Company, and The Sister Fund and has also served for MediaRights.org, The Robeson Fund of the Funding Exchange, The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School, and the Astraea Foundation. An alumnus of Brown University and the Whitney Independent Study Program, she has four children and lives in NYC.

Heather Woodfield

Deputy Director

A woman with dark brown hair and a lace background wearing a headband and patterned tank top.

Heather Alexa Woodfield is an executive leader, creative strategist, and transdisciplinary artist.  She is committed to fostering artistic and administrative collaborations across the creative, cultural, and civic sectors.

Heather was the Executive Director of One Percent for Culture from 2011 to 2017 where she built cross-sector coalitions and spearheaded advocacy efforts that led to the first increase in NYC expense funding for culture in a decade.  She served as the Director of Operations at Technology at 4A Arts where she oversaw development of a national web platform designed to showcase all disciplines of arts and culture.  She also founded My Vote Will Count and Democracy for NYC which focused on increasing civic and political engagement.  

Heather is a practicing transdisciplinary artist whose work fuses performance, film, dramatic writing, costume, design, and social practice art.  She is a Founding Artist of the collective, Calling All Parties, and has created and produced art experiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Chashama, High Line, and FIGMENT festivals in NYC, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Toronto.  Heather has also researched and written about nightlife as a socially engaged art practice.

Heather holds an MPA from Columbia University, an MA in Transdisciplinary Art, Culture, and Practice from NYU, a BFA in Film & TV from NYU, and a Millinery Certificate from FIT.  Her media Appearances include Crain’s New York Business, The Daily Show, NY1, the New York Times, and WNYC.

Nan Collymore

Associate Producer of Impact

Nan

Nan Collymore is a writer and an inter-disciplinary artist. She is interested in the body and land, and how the two co-exist. Her work is an attempt at creating a language that re-imagines the body as land and as a corporeal topography. Her recent projects are the publication of Alisha B. Wormsley’s, There are Black People In The Future, Soft Material, and the founding of small publishing house L’Habillement. She is a member of curatorial collective, The Black Aesthetic.

Tirrea Billings

Development & Communications Intern

Tirrea Headshot

Tirrea Billings (she/her/hers) is an artivist, educator, and progressive media and communications professional that works to shift power through stories. She is currently a communications manager at Color Of Change, the nation's largest online racial justice organization. Additionally, she is the creative director of Reflct Media, a docu-style storytelling company whose goal is to help mission-driven and social issue organizations maximize their impact. She has worked with several organizations to help drive their communications and media strategies, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Strategic Community Partners, the Democracy Collaborative, Visionary Justice StoryLab, and the Kalamazoo College Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. She also strives to make an impact in the classroom as a part-time college instructor, teaching students about the power of media, the importance of storytelling, and how documentary film can be used as a tool for activism. She holds a bachelor of arts in film/video/media studies and a master of arts in communication from Western Michigan University. Learn more about Tirrea here.

Auralynn Rosario

Studio Manager and Production Associate

new inter aura

Auralynn Rosario is an award-winning filmmaker and writer based in New York City, where she was born and raised. she holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Smith College and an MFA in Film Production from the City College of New York. Her first short documentary, "Being Jezebel", which expounds on the stigmatization of Black women who do sex work, won the award "Best of Smith College" and was voted "Audience Favorite" at the 24th Annual Five College Film Festival. She is the 2020 recipient of the Helen Gurley Brown Girl Magic Grant from Smith College, which supports the feature-length documentary version of "Being Jezebel", for which she is currently in production. She is also a 2020-2021 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Scholar and was awarded the 2021 New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) scholarship award. 

 

Anna Yeo

Anna Yeo

Anna Yeo is a writer and filmmaker from Massachusetts. Most recently she was an associate producer for the New York Times Critic’s Pick and Sundance documentary Try Harder! and designed visual materials for the films Blurring the Color Line and Liquor Store Dreams. She holds a degree in Economics and Film Studies from Wesleyan University. Anna is a member of the Asian American Documentary Network and New Day Films.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Aubin’s Board of Directors is composed of the incredible activists, authors, communications and media professionals, researchers, and scholars you see below. Our Board is critical to our work and we are deeply grateful for their knowledge, spirit, and commitment to documentary film in service of social change.

Dana Ain Davis
Dana Ain Davis, President
Catherine Gund
Catherine Gund, Secretary
Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson, Director
Jessica Ruffin
Jessica Ruffin, Director
Marques McClary
Marques McClarey, Director
Vivien Labaton
Vivien Labaton, Director
Andrea
Andrea Austin, Director

Emeritus Board Member

Scot Nakagawa
Scot Nakagawa, Director