The Blue Ridge Stories Youth Video Workshop (formerly Blacksburg Stories) was co-founded by Virginia Tech Department of Theatre & Cinema professors Paul Harrill and Ashley Maynor. Maynor has also served as the Program Director since its inception in 2007 with Paul Harrill as the Program Advisor.

About Ashley Maynor: 

Ashley Maynor is a filmmaker whose documentary films and new media works have been exhibited around the country. Her most recent film as director is the award-winning documentary For Memories’ Sake, which has been screened at the Library of Congress, the Nashville Film Festival, the Maryland Film Festival, and the Indianapolis Film Festival, among others. Maynor has also worked as a producer on Paul Harrill’s narrative films, including the ITVS co-production, Quick Feet, Soft Hands.

In addition to her own film work, Maynor is also engaged with building communities through video partnerships, empowering youth and communities to tell their own stories as the co-founder and program director of the Blue Ridge Stories Youth Video Workshop. Maynor has also taught workshops as a video facilitator for Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Project and as a guest artist in the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge’s Artists in Schools program.

Maynor’s creative work, outreach, and research have been supported by the Southern Humanities Media Fund, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About Paul Harrill:

Paul Harrill’s short films include Gina, An Actress, Age 29, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking, and Quick Feet, Soft Hands, a co-production with the Independent Television Service. He is the producer and co-cinematographer of the documentary For Memories’ Sake, directed by Ashley Maynor.

Called “one of America’s finest and most sensitive directors of actors” by film critic Ray Carney, Harrill’s films have screened around the world at festivals (Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand, Los Angeles, Sydney, Nashville, etc.), museums (the Museum of Modern Art, ICA London, Warsaw Centre for Contemporary Art, etc.), and on television. His work has been supported by the Aperture Film Grant, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Harrill has also been named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine.

Meet the Blue Ridge Stories Counselors for 2011!

Justin Fine is a senior pursuing a degree in cinema production at Virginia Tech. Originally a “traditional” artist, Justin initially pursued studies in the Fine Arts before finally deciding upon a career in film production. Justin is particularly focused on the aspect of cinematography, considering his preference and knack for the visual facets of art throughout his life. Justin has always been an upstanding student and shown scholastic merit dedication. His promise was recently recognized when he was awarded the Donald Drapeau Academic Scholarship from Virginia Tech in the Spring of 2011.

Bibek Ghimire
 was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. After completing high school in the year 2004, he came to the US. The same year he joined the US military. After four years of service in the military, he joined Northern Virginia Community College in the year 2008. He completed his Associates in Computer Science in the year 2009 from Northern Virginia Community College. Currently he is a student at Virginia Tech, and is working towards getting his Bachelors in Industrial and System Engineering and Theatre Arts and Cinema. His hobbies include travelling, watching movies and talking about them, and listening to Classic Rock.

Tiara Hairston is a junior at Virginia Tech dual majoring in Communication with a concentration in electronic and print journalism and Theatre Arts & Cinema concentrating in cinema production and acting, as well as minoring in Spanish. She aspires to get a job either on stage or in the filming business whether it is behind the camera or in front of it. In her spare time, Tiara enjoys playing rugby for the women’s rugby team and getting involved with theater and cinema productions on campus.

Abbey Hoekzema is returning for her second year as a counselor for Blue Ridge Stories. She recently earned her BA in Communications and BS in Marketing from Virginia Tech. This fall she will begin working towards a Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Film Production at the University of North Texas. Abbey is super excited to meet all the campers! This is going to be a fantastic year!

Mikey Perry is a rising Junior at Virigina Tech, majoring in Theatre & Cinema. He comes all the way from Wilmington, Delaware, (Dela-where?!) and is excited for his first year participating in Blue Ridge Stories. Ready to share his love for storytelling, Mikey hopes his campers are just as ready to learn – while having a blast, of course!

Chelsea Rugg is a rising Senior at Virginia Tech, where she majors in Theatre Arts & Cinema and International Studies and minors in Spanish.  She hopes to pursue a career in the film or theatre industry, working in cinema production, cinema studies, or dramaturgy. Chelsea is incredibly excited to be working with Blue Ridge Stories this year!

Stevie Woltz is a 19-year old senior at Virginia Tech (crazy, right?!), and this is his first year being involved with Blue Ridge Stories. He has been interested in film since he was about 14 when he started playing around with the family video camera.  He was heavily influenced by one of his teachers in high school, and decided to pursue film in school.  He has served as the webmaster for the Association of Movie Productions at Virginia Tech, helped organize Progeny Film Festival, and shot a few shorts in his time here. In his non-scholarly life, Stevie is a professional wrestler, guitar player, and avid eater of grilled chicken.