Blue Magnolia Films is a documentary film company, founded in 2013 by Alison Fast and Chandler Griffin to celebrate "bright spots" and small town solutions across the state of Mississippi. Through storytelling, we create more resilient, connected communities. We retrieve the wisdom of the past for living in the present, and we make visible the people and projects that are powering a new culture of the south.
Chandler Griffin is Mississippi native, documentary filmmaker, educator and the Founder of Barefoot Workshops, with nineteen years of experience leading over one hundred and thirty media-based workshops across twenty-four countries. Chandler and his wife, Alison Fast, are continuously creating Mississippi-based documentaries through their production company, Blue Magnolia Films, and constantly working to develop and pioneer new media-based programs that empower individuals and grassroots organizations to make change in their communities across the globe. They live between Los Angeles, the Mississippi Delta and Cape Town, South Africa. Chandler holds a BFA in Photography and a BFA in Video/Film from the Savannah College of Art & Design.
Alison Fast is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, with more than ten years of experience working for networks such as NBC/Universal, BBC Worldwide and MTV Networks in Los Angeles. Through Barefoot Workshops, she has trained more than sixty grassroots organizations across the U.S., Africa and the Middle East to create films for education and advocacy purposes. She has led consultancies with UNAIDS, UNESCO, Creative Associates International, Academy for Educational Development, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, and the President's Digital Freedom Initiative. Her goal is transformative storytelling, and empowering people to spread solutions. Currently, she is working on the film "American Dinka", and a collection of films to engage small towns in rural Mississippi in cultural and economic revitalization. She founded Blue Magnolia Films in 2014.
Aaron Phillips is a Freelance Photographer, Documentary Filmmaker who transitioned from a career in Civil Engineering into operating Aaron Phillips Photography, a freelance commercial and editorial photography business. His photography has appeared in the Jackson Free Press, Portico Jackson, Mississippi Magazine, the Washington Post, the New York Times and served clients such as Entergy, C-Spire, and Eaton. During 2017, Aaron worked with Blue Magnolia Films to produce a statewide, independent, storytelling project for the Mississippi Bicentennial, that included 13 community workshops, 80 partners, 10 galleries, 100 videos, and a mile-long public exhibit in Jackson. Aaron earned his B.A. in Photography from Belhaven University in Jackson. He is well versed in many genres, including documentary, music video, commercials and narrative short films.
Natalie Irby is an award-winning filmmaker and the Founder/CEO of Corner to Corner Productions, an independent film production company based in Los Angeles. She currently has multiple films on the festival circuit, including the feature documentary, "Landfill Harmonic", which premiered at SXSW this year. She also shot, edited, produced and co-directed the web series, "Millennial Parents", which was featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post, and lauded as one of the “10 Best Web Series of 2014” by LA Weekly. She is Executive Producer of "Will To Change" (2014), "American Dinka" (in development), and Blue Magnolia's latest film series focused on cultural and economic revitalization in Mississippi's small towns. She is originally from Jackson, Mississippi.