Jasmine Bowles 
jasmine (at) southerndocumentaryfund (dot) org

Born in lower Delaware and raised in Largo, Maryland Jasmine Bowles brings over 20 years of experience in business operations, human resources, budgeting, bookkeeping and event planning, along with database implementation and management. She applies her insight and skills to collaborate with artists, educators, entrepreneurs, non-profits and small businesses to streamline their operation and bookkeeping practices allowing them to focus on their organizational mission. In 2016, she was the Associate Producer to the Tribeca Film Festival’s animated short selection Fear curated by Whoopi Goldberg. Jasmine is a momma bear to three dynamic little girls and spends the rest of her time advocating for their educational needs and empowering other African American parents to do the same. She has a deep love for glitter, unicorns, all things purple and Beyoncé.


Lana Garlandlg133
Program Director
lana (at) southerndocumentaryfund (dot) org

For the past twenty years, Lana Garland has worked as a writer/producer and director in television and film in the US and Europe.  She has worked in promo departments as a Senior Creative Director for BET and as a Writer/Producer for HBO and TV2 Denmark.  In documentary film, she has filled researcher, field, and associate producer positions on Bowling for Columbine, Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool, and Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives. Lana is a Telly Award winner, an IFP Gordon Parks screenwriting finalist, and a NATPE fellow. She is a Fulbright Specialist, having taught at Makerere University in Uganda in 2016. Throughout the school year Lana is an adjunct professor in filmmaking at area universities and is currently producing/directing a documentary about Black washerwomen, Washerwoman. Originally from Philadelphia, she has a deep passion for house music, martial arts films, and Philly pretzels.


Sam Parker
Program Associate
sam (at) southerndocumentaryfund (dot) org

Sam was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, where he developed a deep and abiding love for oral storytelling and direct representation in media-making through community radio.  He has served as the Program Director and News & Public Affairs Director at KUGS-FM in Washington, helped to build community organizing infrastructure at Social Justice Fund NW, and was a pivotal part of Hollow Earth Radio’s campaign to transition from online arts radio to on-the-air neighborhood hub.  A recent arrival to the Triangle region, you can find him relentlessly digging through local record stores, stitching together field recordings, and asking you about your favorite swimming spots.  


Naomi Walker
Executive Director
naomi (at) southerndocumentaryfund (dot) org

For the past decade, Naomi worked with ITVS as their National Engagement Consultant, in addition to advising numerous documentaries on engagement strategy, including Louder Than A Bomb and Deaf Jam.  She was Outreach Director for Good Pitch Chicago 2015 and worked directly with BritDoc Foundation as Outreach Director for Good Pitch New York 2016. Walker was Education Director for Cinema/Chicago for several years, and taught Outreach and Engagement Strategies for the Documentary at The Michael Rabiger Center for Documentary at Columbia College. She grew up in Richmond, VA, where most of her family are still located. Naomi has been spinning vinyl since 1979. Her tastes have changed frequently over the decades. Currently, she mostly listens to 1960’s country and soul. Her favorite band is The Wrecking Crew.


Leah Welsh
Program Manager
leah (at) southerndocumentaryfund (dot) org

Raised in New York City, the daughter of a maverick magazine publisher, Leah grew up with a keen appreciation for all things media. Spending formative years eating TV dinners in front of Walter Cronkite’s CBS Evening News followed by The Muppet Show, she came to the firm belief that stories can be told in many ways and take many forms.  Leah graduated from The American Film Institute with a degree in Cinematography, then spent three years as a union camera assistant before transition into post production.  After starting and executive producing for two successful post houses in LA, she moved to the South in search of a kinder, gentler life for her children.  Leah’s enthusiasm for small business start-ups, and her enjoyment in encouraging creative talents to achieve their very best, makes coming work at SDF a delight everyday.  When not at work, you will find her exploring her passion for Chinese and Korean cuisine (and yes, she will be happy to give you a recommendation.)  


Executive Directors Emeriti
Rachel Raney
Diane Robertson
(Interim) 2016