Interweaving her search for her African ancestors, director Princess A. Hairston unravels the history of the largest slave-holding family in the U.S. through the personal stories of Black and white individuals in the Hairston clan as her journey unveils a harrowing, hidden familial history, exposing America’s distorted narrative about slavery.
The descendants of the white Hairstons, finally open up about their troubled ancestry and the descendants of the enslaved finally get to tell their ancestor’s stories that have been silenced for far too long. TRACING THE HAIRSTONS reveals the struggles and triumphs of a family that is connected together through the worst atrocity in American History.
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PRINCESS A. HAIRSTON, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/EDITOR
PRINCESS A. HAIRSTON is a creative director, cinematographer, producer and Emmy-nominated editor based in New York City. Princess was recently selected as one of 25 filmmaker nominees for the 2020 Lynn Shelton Of A Certain Age grant. Her strong storytelling skills have developed through editing in film and television for the past 17 years. She has produced and directed campaigns for Black Lives Matter and Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women. Princess edited a one-hour special for the 2020 Biden/Harris campaign. Princess was supervising editor for PIER KIDS which premiered at DOCNYC 2019. She was an editor on FRESH DRESSED, an official 2015 Sundance Film Festival selection, and edited the first two episodes of the Emmy-nominated series CAPTURE with Mark Seliger. She was lead editor on MASTERPIECE OF LOVE, a five-part 81-minute documentary series. Princess wrote and directed UNITED STATES VS. WHITE MEN, a narrative short and DON’T EXPEL THE BLACKS, a short documentary. She is a 2018 recipient of the Karen Schmeer Editing Fellowship and a 2018 Winner of the NYTVF + WEtv Producer Pitch which led to a development deal. Her work has been recognized with nominations and awards from the Emmys, The Webbys, and many film festivals.
MARIA JUDICE, CO-PRODUCER
MARIA JUDICE is a storyteller. Through the visual, social, and mobile landscape, she has crafted a space to support authentic voices in media as an IMPACT PRODUCER. Indigo Impact was founded in 2016 with a mission to bring left-of-center stories and creators to global audiences. Wired magazine called M a “filmmaker provocateur.” Working as an Impact Producer she has brought social campaigns and outreach to films including AYITI MON AMOUR (2016),JINN (2018), LIFE AFTER LIFE (2017), SOLACE (2018) and THE LONG SHADOW (2015). She mobilized a grassroots Oscar campaign for AYITI MON AMOUR, Haiti’s first selection into the Oscars in 2017. She also Co-Produced DREAMSTATES (2016) and produced Rwanda’s first entry into Cannes 2021, NEPTUNE FROST, directed by Anisia Uzeyman and Saul Williams.
JAMEKA AUTRY, CONSULTING PRODUCER
JAMEKA AUTRY is a producer, director, and 2020 Women at Sundance | Adobe Fellow. Past fellowships and honors include the 2019 Sundance Creative Producing Lab Fellowship, 2017 Impact Partners Creative Producing Fellowship, and 2018 Double Exposure Investigative Film Fellowship. In 2018 she was selected as part of the inaugural DOC NYC 40 Under 40 List. She was recently awarded the Sundance/A&E Brave Storyteller Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Post Graduate Fellowship at the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. Currently she balances her film projects with her new role as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Most recently she completed work on THROUGH THE NIGHT, which premiered at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. Other producing works include Emmy award winning ERNIE & JOE: CRISIS COPS, which won the jury grand prize at SXSW and Boston International Film Festival, and premiered on HBO in Fall 2019.