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.

Rza Flournoy

Studio Manager & Executive Assistant

Rza Flournoy

Rza is an organizer, artist, collagist, writer, and podcaster hailing from the Midwest. After finding her political home in activism on the southside of Chicago - she gained years of experience working in the non profit sector in outreach, events, and programming supporting organizations in the fights for voters rights, universal healthcare and expanding access to higher education. Concentration in Community Engagement & Social Change. 

Anna Yeo

Associate Producer

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.

Karem Orrego

Associate Producer: Development & Communications

Karem Orrego

Karem Orrego, born in Lima, Peru, is a producer, director, and editor passionate about elevating minimized voices with thought-provoking experiential media projects. She co-directed SHATTERING THE PICTURES IN OUR HEADS: an award-winning multi-screen film installation exhibited earlier this year at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. Since 2014, she has produced over 40 short documentaries with Edge of Discovery and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Nevada and Idaho, U.S.

In 2016, Karem graduated with a BA in Film & Media Arts and received one of the Outstanding Senior Awards from the University of Utah College of Fine Arts. She developed a VR media literacy series in 2018 with the Utah Film Center focusing on representations of refugees, reaching over 2,000 K-12 students. SHATTERING deconstructs the mythical Indian stereotype and won Silver for Best Diversity & Inclusion at the 2022 Anthem Awards, the Webby Awards' newest initiative, alongside PBS, BBC, and Netflix. After becoming a finalist for the 2022 Sundance Uprise Grant, she recently became a HessenLab Fellow at the B3 Biennial of the Moving Image 2022 in Germany. 

Helena Ravix

Intern

Helena

Helena is from New Jersey and a recent graduate of Amherst College. After spending most of her college years on the premed track, she recently decided to pursue a career in film, a long-held dream of hers. She is very excited about joining the Aubin team and for the opportunity to support marginalized communities, affect social change, and promote cultural awareness through film.

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.

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