Documentary Film Making

Alexandra Blaney

Alexandra Blaney

Alexandra Blaney

Alexandra Blaney recalls her time at Sedona Charter School as creative and intellectually stimulating—which may have been a factor in her career choice: documentary film-making.

Alex was in third grade when Sedona Charter School opened in 1995, and she attended our school for five years. “The teachers really emphasized creativity in art and writing, and following your own passion,” she says. “I remember particularly studying the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez. . . .   We were reflecting on some pretty complicated stories.”

After spending her high school years at a top prep school in the northeast (Deerfield Academy), Alex opted to attend Pomona College in Southern California. “It was an intellectual, nerdy school, which I wanted, but it also had Southern California’s great weather.” She double-majored in International Relations and History, but she knew that after college she wanted to get into independent film-making, creating films that had social impact.

She moved to New York and began searching for opportunities—and found an ad on Craigslist for an internship in “social good documentary filmmaking.” Then in 2010 she found a second internship for film editing, which allowed her to further develop in her field. She is now Director of Marketing and Production at Shine Global, a non-profit media company that gives voice to children by telling stories of their resilience to raise awareness, promote action and inspire change.

In 2013, one of the films Alex helped produce at Shine Global, “Inocente,” won the Academy Award for best documentary short. The film focused on an optimistic 15-year-old girl in San Diego who had been homeless for nine years, and who proved herself to be a talented artist, painting vivid, whimsical pictures.

Now Alex is hard at work on her next film, a documentary mystery about the dark side of child advocacy.

We look forward to having Alex visit Sedona Charter School as a guest presenter, discussing her experiences as a social documentary filmmaker with our students.