Hannah Ayers is a filmmaker based in Richmond, Virginia. She and her husband Lance Warren co-own the film production company Field Studio. They produce films at the intersection of history and social justice, focusing on race, incarceration, and family. Most recently, they completed production of AN OUTRAGE, a short documentary about the history and legacy of lynching in the American South.
Hannah and Lance’s first film, THAT WORLD IS GONE: RACE AND DISPLACEMENT IN A SOUTHERN TOWN, won the Audience Award for Best Short Documentary at the 2010 Virginia Film Festival. Their documentary work has also been featured in the PBS Online Film Festival, on the storytelling website Narratively, and at various film festivals. In addition to their independent documentaries, they have produced educational and promotional videos for nonprofits, museums, and universities, including the Women’s Refugee Commission, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the University of Richmond. Their work extends beyond film production to photography, audio documentaries, and text, demonstrated most recently by the multimedia project RICHMOND JUSTICE.
Hannah is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia, and attended the College of William & Mary and Columbia University. Her background is in history, nonprofit development, and multimedia storytelling. She previously supported partnership and outreach efforts for the documentary film Girl Rising and worked in External Relations for the human rights organization WITNESS.
Across the top-grossing 1,100 films that debuted between 2002 and 2012, only 4.4% were created by female directors. As a study by Dr. Stacy Smith of the USC Annenberg school discovered, of 129 top grossing G, PG, and PG-13 films theatrically released between 2006 and 2011 less than 30% of all on screen speaking characters are girls or women. The ratio of males to females on the silver screen is 2.53 to 1. These statistics highlight a major problem in the world of filmmaking: the limited ability of women and women’s stories to be seen or told. This panel will bring together female experts in the industry to discuss the unique challenges faced by female filmmakers, and the impact this has on historical filmmaking.
The History Film Forum is proud to present the premiere of An Outrage, a documentary film about lynching in the American South. Filmed on-location at lynching sites in six states and bolstered by the memories and perspectives of descendants, community activists, and scholars, this unusual historical documentary seeks to educate even as it serves as a hub for action to remember and reflect upon a long-hidden past.