Safe Haven

Safe Haven: One Family’s Journey After Hurricane Florence

In September 2018, Hurricane Florence brought record-setting flooding to North Carolina. The Hudsons were among the thousands of families displaced by the storm. This documentary follows their rescue and their path to recovery. Photo: Jake Nicol/The Wall Street Journal


Juana Luz Tobar Ortega came to the United States 24 years ago as an asylum seeker from Guatemala. For the last six years living in North Carolina, Juana has checked in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) annually and received a stay of deportation. But in April of 2017, she was told without warning that she had 30 days to leave the country or be deported.

In May, 2017, Juana entered sanctuary at an unfamiliar church. St. Barnabas Episcopal in Greensboro, North Carolina welcomed Juana, a complete stranger, into their church home.

Winner of Tribeca Film Institute IF/Then Short Documentary Program and the Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short at the New Orleans Film Festival.



Directed by Sarah Riazati
Role: DP of Reenactment scene of young Pauli Murray

Supported by a 2018 Princess Grace Award for Film. Completed as part of thesis for Riazati’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Art from Duke University.

'monumental' is an experimental documentary about toppled statues, Southern history, the legacy of names, the resilience of bricks, the power of poetry, the definition of patriotism, hidden family trees and segregated cemeteries. There is no static history. It lives on, layered in the landscape, painted on the brick mills. Through investigating the ripples of the words and deeds of local postbellum industrialist Julian Shakespeare Carr, paradoxically called “the most generous white supremacist,” and reenacting scenes from the childhood of Pauli Murray, an unsung civil and women’s rights activist, the film scratches away at surfaces of stories about Durham, North Carolina. Careful scrutiny of such surfaces may reveal effaced answers to the questions that history leaves us with today, regarding racial identity and segregation, industrialization and labor, and gentrification and community. As statues topple and new monuments rise, this documentary invites consideration of where have we been, where we are now, and where we are going.

The Real Queens

Reyna Hernandez Sandoval and Yadira Pintado Lazcano challenge stereotypes through their beats. They perform under the stage name of La Reyna y La Real and are one of the most beloved hip hop groups in Havana, Cuba.

Winner of the 72nd College Photographer of the Year (Group Multimedia or Essay - Standalone: Bronze)

Damage Control (In Production)

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The United (In Production)

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Hey Mami

Experimental video portrait of photojournalist Rachel Greene. Music by: Sylvan Esso