Rachel Raney
Executive Director

Rachel Raney is a seasoned documentary filmmaker and public TV and radio producer. She got her start working on documentaries for the Center for Investigative Reporting and the PBS series FRONTLINE. Since then Raney has worked on numerous independent films, many backed by ITVS. Her directorial debut, the feature documentary Livermore, aired on PBS’ Independent Lens. She also worked on a number of programs at KQED-TV in San Francisco, launching the documentary series Truly CA, and producing their long-running arts program Spark. When Rachel moved back to North Carolina she landed at WUNC, producing for their national daily radio program The Story with Dick Gordon. She has served as Executive Director of SDF since 2011.

Sara Bell
Program Manager

Born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina—with a brief intermission in her ancestral home of Cleveland, Ohio—Sara Bell has an abiding love for the food, music, and storytelling traditions of the South.  After many years writing, recording, and performing music with local NC bands The Angels of Epistemology, Dish, Regina Hexaphone, Lud, Tres Chicas, Jeffrey Dean Foster, and others, Sara received a masters degree in Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011. When she is not serving as SDF’s multi-tasking program manager, she can be found teaching Southern Culture and other humanities courses at Sandhills Community College. With her longtime band Shark Quest, Sara is especially proud to have scored the soundtracks for documentaries Monster Road and Rocaterrania, in addition to contributing music to A Chef’s Life