Our mission is to create cultural awareness and strategic, sustainable justice through transformative, community-based production and impactful distribution of media.
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
- equity, inclusion, intersectional feminism & anti-racism work
- Narrative Power
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 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.
Founder and Director
Founder and Director of Aubin Pictures, Catherine Gund is an Emmy-nominated and Academy 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.
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.