Filmakers and Bios

photo of Rachel Lyon

Rachel Lyon

Writer / Director / Producer

Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Rachel Lyon has produced 65 feature films, movies-for-television, feature documentaries and limited series. Her work focuses on critical global issues, human rights, civil equality, art and archeology and history. Lyon serves as Director of Special Gifts at the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. She has served as professor at NKU, Southern Methodist University, Bentley University, and Queens College. Her breakthrough work on exposing the 'crime-media business' involves a partnership including ten universities, culminating in a major symposium on Media and Human Rights in America and her new film, Hate Crimes in the Heartland. Lyon has written multiple law journal articles, worked with the Harvard Law School for over a decade and has spoken extensively around the country. Her films have appeared on CNN, PBS, BBC, History Channel and National Geographic, among others.

photo of Pi-Isis Ankhra

Pi-Isis Ankhra


Pi-Isis Ankhra brings over 16 years of experience within the philanthropic industry developing strategic initiatives targeted at leveraging private and public investments. As a result of these efforts, Ankhra has secured over $150mm to support the sustainability and capacity building efforts of community based organizations, specifically within the field of social justice and advocacy.

Over the past 5 years, Ankhra has broadened her professional offerings to include media development - working on both short and long form content projects. As a film, television and live event producer, Ankhra has focused her work on the design and delivery of strategic plans to reach and engage targeted audiences around stories that surface social and cultural issues often underrepresented in mainstream media.

Ankhra has worked in partnership with a multitude of institutions including the Ford Foundation, Democratic National Committee, the NAACP and others on planning, fundraising and event production to highlight and promote core social justice issues. Most recently, Ankhra partnered with Rachel Lyon as Co-Producer of Hate Crimes in the Heartland ('HCH'). In this role, Ankhra is responsible for the overall planning of the marketing approach, fundraising and network development of the HCH civic engagement campaign to stamp out hate crimes in America by building partnerships from the grassroots to the 'grasstops' of this very important issue of our time.

photo of Bavard Karim

Bavand Karim

Cinematographer / Associate Producer

Bavand's work focuses on social justice and the relationship between mass media and social movements, including the Arab Spring. He is the producer of the award-winning documentary film, Nation of Exiles, and co-producer of Fox's organic lifestyle program Dig In DFW. Bavand currently teaches Electronic Media and Broadcasting at Northern Kentucky University.

photo of Tarlor Harris

Taylor Harris

Production Coordinator

Taylor Harris is currently an undergraduate student at Northern Kentucky University. She also attends graduate classes as part of the early graduate admission program at NKU. She is scheduled to graduate in the fall of 2013. Taylor travelled with filmmaker, Rachel Lyon, to Tulsa, Oklahoma during the production of Hate Crimes in the Heartland as the production coordinator for the film. She has worked on several student productions some of which including, Sift, a short horror film in which she was the assistant director; Dingo Swayed, a comedic detective series that is currently in production—She serves as the assistant director; She has also worked as a lighting grip for the College of Informatics promo for NKU.