Ali is a director who specializes in crafting heart-felt, nuanced documentaries. Over the last 12 years, she has directed, produced and written more than 30 hours of award-winning documentary programming. Her work includes commercial campaigns–an intersection of her creativity and ability to hone an authentic message.
Ali is committed to documenting the diverse experiences of people around the globe. She documented the drug trade from the perspectives of both DEA agents and Colombian cartel affiliates in Cocaine Wars, spent a year on the road with the Big Apple Circus for Circus, and followed cancer patients through a year of treatment for Ken Burns’ Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. She often moves to the location where she is filming to better understand and respond to the story as it unfolds.
Ali’s work has aired on National Geographic, PBS, ABC, CBS, and HBO. She has directed episodes for National Geographic on crime and law enforcement in the U.S. and Latin America, written and field produced historical, and science documentaries for National Geographic, and field produced four critically acclaimed series: Circus (PBS), Cocaine Wars (National Geographic), Hopkins (ABC), and Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies (PBS). Three of her programs have been nominated for Emmys, one awarded a Peabody, and one the DuPont Award.
In addition to her work in television, Ali has co-produced two documentary features: Seeking Asian Female, and Age of Champions. She is currently directing a feature documentary about Swiss-born, Vermont painter Friedrich Gross.
Ali was born in Dorchester, MA and raised in Vermont. She is a graduate of Barnard College, with additional credits from NYU Tisch and The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU).
In 2016, Ali bought a trailer and now lives somewhere between Vermont and California with her partner Paul Yoo, and their dog. When not at work, she can be found experimenting in their (tiny) kitchen, hiking up mountains, and working in the garden.
Paul is a producer-director, covering social justice and conservation issues around the world. He produced and directed an in-depth documentary slate about the due diligence process aiming to reform the historically conflict-prone mines of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He co-directed “Namuli,” a high-stakes climbing adventure-conservation documentary set in Malawi and Mozambique; it was an official selection at the 2016 Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, CO, Festival Cinemabiente, and the DC Environmental Film Festival. Other notable credits include field producing a documentary in Rwanda, Tanzania and Haiti that kicked off a landmark public-private film partnership between Warner Bros and USAID, and crewing on a National Geographic TV INSIDE special on gang culture in Los Angeles.
Paul is a Philadelphia native and earned a BA in Public Policy with a focus on international development from Brown University, an MA in international relations/conflict resolution from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, a producer’s fellowship from Film Independent’s Project Involve Talent Development Program, and a certificate in documentary filmmaking from the Seattle Film Institute.
Posts prior to filmmaking include hospice work in Calcutta with Mother Teresa’s charity, wrangling horses on a ranch in the Medicine Bow Mountains of Wyoming, a foiled attempt to day-trade securities on Wall Street, wilderness drug intervention therapy for at-risk youth in the deserts of Utah, a genetic/anthropological study of core public health issues on the Samoan islands, graduate work in Geneva, Switzerland at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) supporting UNAMID during the “onset” of the Darfur crisis in western Sudan, fine furniture building with Charles Shackleton, and other demanding jobs that kept Paul in motion before accepting the challenges of the film industry.
With his downtime, Paul skis with a free heel and his dog. He paddleboards (slowly) in the hope of one day crossing the open-ocean channel between Molokai and Oahu islands. We shall see…