Field Studio is a collaboration of Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, married documentary filmmakers based in Richmond, Virginia. We make story-driven media at the intersection of history and social justice.
Our first film, That World is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town, won the Audience Award for Short Documentary at the 2010 Virginia Film Festival. Our second film, An Outrage (an-outrage.com), about lynching in the American South, premiered at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in March 2017. An Outrage has since won the Audience Award at the Indie Grits Film Festival and the Jury Award for Best Short Documentary at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. The Southern Poverty Law Center has deployed the film and a comprehensive curriculum to its Teaching Tolerance network of nearly 500,000 teachers. And we're on a tour — by invitation at festivals, universities, and museums — that will extend to nearly 70 stops in 27 states through 2018.
In June 2017, we received a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities to produce The Hail-Storm: John Dabney in Virginia, a hidden history of an astounding African American restaurateur. The Hail-Storm premiered in November 2017 at the sold-out, third-annual John Dabney Dinner, a signature event of Richmond's Fire, Flour & Fork food festival. In February 2018, the film launched Black History Month Programming on WCVE and WHTJ, the Central Virginia PBS affiliates that collectively reach more than 300,000 viewers. These affiliates will broadcast the film three times a year for the next four years. The Hail-Storm, along with a viewer discussion guide, recipes, and web extras, is also freely available on the film's website (hailstormdabney.com).
Our work extends to other forms of media and to other urgent issues of social justice. In 2016, we produced the multimedia project Richmond Justice (richmondjustice.org), documenting the criminal justice system through portraits, text, audio, and video. In May 2017, we were selected to join the inaugural class of Visiting Artists sponsored by the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation to create video stories about health equity.
Hannah was raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, and attended the College of William & Mary and Columbia University. Her background is in history, nonprofit development, and multimedia storytelling. Previously, Hannah supported fundraising and communications efforts at the human rights video advocacy organization WITNESS. Hannah is on the Board of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.
Lance was raised in Virginia. He studied history and politics at Syracuse University and Brandeis University, focusing on civil rights and social justice in the twentieth century United States. From 2010-2016 he supported the work of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, producing online courses, video series, and virtual field trips for history teachers across the country.
Field Studio is available for hire by select nonprofit organizations, universities, and people and causes seeking to make a positive difference in the areas of social justice and education.
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