About Us


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Image of Catherine Gund at the Tribeca Film Festival

Catherine Gund

Founder and Director

Founder and Director of Aubin Pictures, Catherine Gund is an Emmy-nominated and Oscar shortlisted 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, HBO, Paramount+, the Discovery Channel, Sundance Channel, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

Her most recent films include: Angola Do You Hear Us? Voices from a Plantation Prison (CIFF, Paramount+), 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, and JustMedia. 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

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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.

Destiny Arturet

Impact Producer

Destiny Arturet

Destiny loves exploring stories about niche hobbies, small communities, and social justice through art. She discovered her love for documentary film in 2018 and took some time to pivot from her professional work in nonprofit media to filmmaking, finding herself at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2022. Utilizing her past experience as a community organizer, she recently stepped into the role of Impact Producer at Aubin Pictures. She’s a fan of Boston Terriers, artisanal cocktails, and vintage coats. She holds an M.A. from NYU in Global Women’s Studies and is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

Sanjna Selva

Associate Producer

Sanjna Selva

Sanjna Selva (she/her) is a multilingual documentary filmmaker born and raised between Malaysia and Singapore, now based in New York City. Sanjna began her career as an associate producer on the Sundance-supported feature documentary Silent Beauty which had its world premiere at the 2022 Hot Docs Film Festival.

Her debut film Call Me Anytime, I’m Not Leaving the House, which she directed, produced, shot and edited, about two sisters separated by the war in Ukraine, was acquired by PBS for broadcast on Season 5 of POV Shorts. The film has screened at numerous festivals and spaces including Woodstock Film Festival, the Cleveland International Film Festival, and DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema within the US, as well as at human rights film festivals in France, Romania, the Netherlands, and Ukraine, where it has received best short documentary and audience awards.

Sanjna is a graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, a 2020 Double Exposure Film Festival Fellow, and a 2019 Skidmore-MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Resident. Her work has been featured in CBS New York, EST Media, and the International Center of Photography (ICP). She is also a proud member of the Asian American Journalists Association, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, A-DOC, and Video Consortium.

Sanjna is presently co-directing and producing her next documentary, Spa City Revolutionary, which investigates police and FBI surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists in small-town America—a town she lived in for five years.

Añes Yamin

Production Assistant

Añes Yamin

Añes is a senior at The New School, studying Economics with a minor in Law and Social Change. They once worked at Aubin as an intern three years ago and are excited and grateful to be back! Añes deeply missed the welcoming family-like energy Aubin cultivates and can't wait to help out on upcoming projects.

Yurema Perez-Hinojosa

Communications and Development Intern

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Yurema Perez-Hinojosa is an independent filmmaker and writer deeply invested in the intersection of social justice and storytelling.  She studied film and media production at Brown University where she directed many short films spanning genres from horror comedy to experimental narrative. She enjoys playing with her cats and min pin dogs, collaging, dancing, and baking desserts for her loved ones. Having previously interned at Aubin, she is excited to rejoin the team!

Mariah Norman


Person with light brown skin, red twists in their hair, wearing sunglasses

Mariah is a rising junior at Harvard studying History and Film, with a special interest in Black and queer histories. They are a writer, curator, dancer, and aspiring filmmaker from Cincinnati, Ohio. Mariah is so excited to join the Aubin team this summer as an archival intern, specializing in the collections of Ivy Young!

Lola Lafia

Operations Associate

Woman with light skin and brown hair wearing sunglasses on a bike

Lola's mission is to create and nurture equitable spaces for dreaming. Over the past few years, she ran a platform for college students to lead and join themed conversations, founded a month-long artist residency & lived upstate with 7 queer artists of different mediums, and won a competition to build a sustainable land development in the Nevada desert. Raised in New York (and sticking around), Lola graduated this past May from Columbia University. She is beyond thrilled to have joined Aubin and to help support one of the most powerful storytelling tools and catalysts of expanding the human imagination: documentary film.

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
Jessica Ruffin
Jessica Ruffin, Director
Marques McClary
Marques McClarey, Treasurer
Vivien Labaton
Vivien Labaton, Director

Emeritus Board Member

Scot Nakagawa
Scot Nakagawa, Director