Executive Director, Southern Documentary Fund
Rachel Raney has served as Executive Director of the Southern Documentary Fund since 2011. Raney is a seasoned non-fiction filmmaker and public TV/radio producer with many years of experience producing content, as well as collaborating with and supporting independent producers. Fresh out of college, she landed at the highly regarded Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco, working on documentaries for the PBS series Frontline. After producing on multiple projects for CIR and other veteran docmakers, Raney’s directorial debut, the feature documentary Livermore, aired on PBS’ Independent Lens. Raney went on to create and produce the award-winning documentary series Truly CA for KQED-TV, currently in its 10th season.
Raney’s work on Truly CA required her to make the turn from maker to mentor. Supporting up to ten independent films a year, Raney guided filmmakers of varying levels of experience through both the editorial and technical aspects of completing their films for public television.
Raney’s passion for creative mentorship and regional storytelling drives her work at SDF. Her leadership and commitment have sparked significant growth in programming at the 13 year old organization. Raney created SDF’s Artists Services program, launched an annual Artists Convening, and programs/moderates a monthly work-in-progress series, Fresh Docs. Last year Raney inaugurated SDF’s Filmmaking Grants, fulfilling a long held dream of the organization to grant monies directly to Southern documentaries.