2018, Co-Director/Producer, Writer, Second Editor

hillbilly examines media stereotypes of Appalachia and rural America, tying an exploration of Appalachian identity and natural resource extraction with the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.


Funded by:

The National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Arts

The Fledging Fund

West Virginia Humanities Council

Ohio Humanities

Virginia Humanities Council

South Carolina Humanities

Kentucky Foundation for Women

Kentucky Council for the Arts

Chapman University


Los Angeles Film Festival, Jury Prize for Best Documentary Film

Nashville Film Festival, Closing Night Movie

Traverse City Film Festival, Founder's Award in Documentary Filmmaking

Hot Springs Film Festival, Opening Night Movie  

Heartland Film Festival

Scruffy City and Music Score Film Festival, Audience Award & Best Score

Ojai Film Festival 

Santa Barbara International Film Festival: Call to Action series

Boone Film Festival

YES Fest

Arlington Film Festival 

Dallas Women's Film Festival 

Rocky Mountain Film Festival

Doctober series 

Nevada City Film Festival

Charlotte Film Festival 

Sheffield | Doc Player


The Tennessean: Dolly Parton sings praise of new documentary 

* Los Angeles Times: Review

* Awards Circuit: Review
Nashville Scene: Best of the Fest
Under Main: Documentary
*​ WV Public Radio: Documentary Seeks to Elevate Perspectives of Appalachians
Art & Seek: Hillbilly
Winners announced for 14th Annual Traverse City Film Festival
Variety: ‘Hillbilly’Set to Open Hot Springs Festival

Life on the Line: coming of age between nations

​2014, Co-Director/Producer, Editor (with Jen Gilomen)

Life on the Line is a cinema verite documentary that follows a year in the life of 11-year-old Kimberly Torrez as she and her family await the visa that will allow them to return to the United States after unforeseen circumstances trap them in Nogales, Mexico. Living literally steps from the border, Kimberly crosses each day to attend school just across the line in Arizona. While Kimberly's father finds himself unemployed, stricken with Hepatitis C, and in need of a liver transplant, Kimberly's mother desperately awaits the visa that will allow her to live in the U.S. with her American children if her husband dies. A slice-of-life portrait film told through Kimberly's eyes, Life on the Line illuminates the changing face of America through the story of this one family. Funded by the Fledgling Fund, the Puffin Foundation, and Chapman University. Premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2014, broadcast nationally on PBS.


Best Environmental Documentary, Mexico International Film Festival

Fledgling Fund Recipient

Puffin Foundation Grant Recipient

Chapman University Faculty Scholarly Research Grant Recipient

Honorable Mention, Best Documentary, University Film and Video Association Conference 2014

KAET/Phoenix Partnership Recipient

Arizona International Film Festival

Big as Texas Film Festival

Boston International Kids Festival

Los Angeles Indie Film Festival

Los Angeles Lift Off Film Festival

Chicago Social Change Film Festival

Cine-Reel Film Festival

Providence Children's Film Festival

Saint Louis International Film Festival      

San Francisco Independent Film Festival

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Big Read Official Selection

White Sands International Film Festival

Viva Latino Film Festival



David Sutherland: Documentary Portraitist

2012, Director, Cinematographer, Editor

ITVS/Frontline co-presentation, for PBS web streaming, inclusion on National Television Critics Association Press Tour, and DVD release. Directed, shot, and edited this short behind-the-scenes piece about cinema verite filmmaker David Sutherland, and his new Frontline film “Kind Hearted Woman,” about domestic abuse on Native American reservations.​

Deep Down: a story from the heart of coal country

2010, Co-Director, Co-Producer, Editor (with Jen Gilomen)

A look at the human impact of global natural resource extraction. Focuses on the story of a woman and a man in eastern Kentucky who are divided by their views on mountaintop removal mining, as that which is destroying their homeland is tearing apart their relationship. Funded by ITVS, the Film Arts Foundation, Pacific Pioneer Fund, Banff Mountain Culture Center, Chicken and Egg Pictures, and the MacArthur Foundation. In distribution through New Day Films and the Independent Television Service.


Nominated for an Emmy award for the film’s outreach work and virtual mine project; 
Broadcast nationally on PBS in fall 2010 on the Emmy Award winning series, Independent Lens. 
Selected for the Independent Television Service’s Community Cinema initiative, screening in

dozens of communities across the country.
American Documentary International Showcase, 2011-2012
Bali Institute for Global Social Change, 2011
Banff Mountain Culture Award
BAVC Producer’s Institute Participant 2009
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Feature Documentary Competition 
Brown Forman Outreach Support Recipient
Chicken and Egg Pictures “I Believe in You Grant”
Film Arts Foundation Film Grant
Fledgling Fund for Socially Conscious Documentary Filmmaking Award Nominee 
Independent Television Service/ LINCS Initiative Contract Recipient
Independent Film Week/IFP Participant 2008
ITVS Interactive Outreach Funding Recipient
MacArthur Foundation New Media Grant Recipient
Natural Resources Defense Council Outreach Grant Recipient
Pacific Pioneer Fund Support Recipient
Participant, PBS Frontline Symposium on Visual Storytelling in the Visual Age 
PBS/CPB Producer’s Academy Participant 2009
Princeton Environmental Film Festival
San Luis Obispo Film Festival 
Tales From Planet Earth Film Festival 
Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Working Films/Fledgling Fund/Chicken and Egg Pictures Outreach Residency
Participant 2009

"Deep Down is flawlessly filmed and edited and the storyline ingenious. One could not have fabricated a finer heroic tale than this David and Goliath reality."
-Jenny Sherman, San Francisco Examiner

“Deep Down is a revelatory film, breathtakingly poignant and poetic, and goes beyond the politics of protest to look at the inexorably connected lives of Appalachian residents...Incredibly resilient and prepared, Beverly May, who works as a nurse at a clinic for those without insurance, might be one of the most endearing and powerful anti-mountaintop removal spokeswomen in the nation.”
-- Jeff Biggers, author of The United States of Appalachia, Reckoning at Eagle Creek and contributor to The Huffington Post

The Last Mountain

2004, Director, Editor, Additional Camera

About the filmmaker’s journey to uncover the mystery behind her father’s death in a hiking accident, and the unexpected answers that she and her family find along the way. Broadcast on regional PBS stations.

Finalist, Angelus Awards, Los Angeles, CA, 2004
Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Valley, CA, 2004
Department of Psychology, Tufts University, Boston, MA, October 2004
Department of International Relations, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, October 2004
Aired on PBS/ Nevada County Television, Nevada County, CA, February 2005
Screened at the Pratt Museum, Homer, AK, July 2005
Screened at the New Space Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, June-July 2005
Girl Fest Film Festival, Honolulu, HI, September 2005
Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Nevada City, CA, January 2005
On the Wild and Scenic Film Festival National Tour for all of 2005
“Alive at 9th Street,” Frameline’s monthly series, October 2005
“Straight Outta Grrrlville,” San Francisco, CA, December 2005
“Return to Grrrlville” film series, San Francisco, CA, June 2006
Stanford Alumni Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA, May 2006
Bay Area Women in Film and Television Birthday Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, May 2006

Aired on PBS/Kentucky Educational Television, Spring 2010​

Body Politics

2003, Director, Editor​

Portrays the getting-naked-for-peace movement in Marin County, California, focusing on one day during April of 2003, when 200 people spelled out “Make Love Not War” with their bodies, nude on the sand.

Cinequest Film Festival, 2004

San Francisco Independent Film Festival, 2004
Director's View Film Festival, 2004
Freedom Cinema Festival, 2004
Kansas City Jubilee, 2004
Video Mundi Film Festival, 2004
New England Film and Video Festival, 2004
Aired on Chum Television in Toronto, 2004
Screened at the AVA awards in April, 2004
Screened at the New York Guggenheim Museum, 2004  
Screened at the United for Peace and Justice National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, to over five-hundred people, March, 2005
Queer Tactics Film Festival, June 2006

"Rubin's quiet and persistent vision explores more than her father's death, revealing both the psychology of family dynamics and her role as daughter and image-maker. A quietly courageous film that resonates inside the hearts of sons and daughters everywhere."

Stephen Parr, San Francisco Media Archive

"Hit me like a Mack truck without brakes on a downhill grade. The filmmaker doesn't succumb to the maudlin; she is able to distinguish true sentiment from sentimentality."

Marc Fields, Concord Academy/ Emerson University

“This movie deals with the stark reality of death, how it affects people (especially when it is tragic), and the search for meaning surrounding death and dying. An excellent film to explore this topic with young people.  Highly recommended.”

Brad Eden, University Librarian for Technical Services and Scholarly Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara


2003, Co-Director, Cinematographer, Editor​

Enters the lives of six teenage boys to examine adolescent male body image, and the relationship between physical shape and social/self-acceptance. 

Honorable Mention, Marin County Film Festival, 2003

Oakland Film Festival, 2003
Stanford Film Festival, 2003
Stanford Alumni Film Festival, 2003
Screened at the Cantor Arts Center, Palo Alto, California, as part of an exhibition about body image, May through September 2003
Screened at the American Psychological Association’s annual conf. of 15,000 people, June 2004.
“Return to Grrrlville” film series, 2006
Has been sold to over 100 high school districts and universities nationally.

Ga-Ga Cha

2002, Director, Cinematographer, Editor

An inside look at a multi-cultural drum circle in San Jose, California, populated by ex-cons from Pelican Bay prison.

Best Documentary, Marin County Film Festival, 2003

First Look Film Festival, 2003
Humboldt Film Festival, 2003
Screened at the Pacific Film Archive, October 2003