Lisa Russell is an Emmy-winning filmmaker, TEDx Speaker, and Founder/CEO of StoryShifter with a Masters in Public Health (MPH) who produces films and creative campaigns for UN/NGO agencies to increase public engagement and civic participation around humanitarian issues. Her work lies at the intersection of arts and culture, social justice and global development.
As Co-Founder of Governess Films, Lisa is often contracted by some of the world's leading UN/NGO agencies to produce films on pressing global development issues such as humanitarian crises, climate change and issues affecting women and girls. She works as a one person crew as director, producer, writer, camera and editor.
As Founder of I Sell the Shadow, Lisa is building a global network of socially conscious artists who use their talent for the social good. She curates artistic performances and creative workshops for high level events with partners including the Office of the UN's Secretary General, Office of the UN Secretary General's Envoy on Youth, UN-DESA, Women Deliver, World YWCA, Sierra Club and many others.
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Lisa is a regularly sought after speaker at leading global health and innovation conferences where she speaks about her journey towards becoming a filmmaker, the role of artists in changing the narrative of global development and the need to promote narrative justice and responsible/ethical storytelling. She has spoken at TEDxJNJ, TEDxAsbury Park, Social Good Summit, Switchpoint, Unite for Sight, Women Deliver as well as many leading universities throughout the US.
Lisa facilitates a variety of workshops related to responsible storytelling/ narrative justice in global health, "story shifting", engaging artists in global development work, digital filmmaking and more.
And this picture pretty sums up my life for the past 10+ years. Artist/Filmmaker. UN Curator. Founder of many creative and social good initiatives.
After completing my Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Boston University, I started my career as a humanitarian aid worker. I landed by first gig working in Kosovo and Albania during the conflict in 1999 and it was there I witnessed the exploitation of the media in covering the war. It inspired me to become a storyteller.
Since that time, I have worked tirelessly over the past 10+ years producing films on a range of topics related to global health and development. As a teaching artist for young artists in NYC, I also became committed to bringing arts and creativity to the United Nations and the larger global development community.
Through building relationships with UN experts, learning the "UN language", producing films, curating artistic performances and workshops, and though building partnerships with different agencies, I became committed to advocating for institutional credibility for socially conscious artists to have a seat at the global development table.
The following site has links to my various initiatives. Feel free to follow me or join my newsletter.
With much gratitude,
3 women. 3 countries. 3 stories untold. Until now.
"Heroines of Health", a new film by Emmy-winning filmmaker Lisa Russell and executive produced by GE Healthcare, provides an intimate look into the lives of three remarkable women - Dr. Sharmila (India), Mercy (Kenya) and Mrs. Rohani (Indonesia) - who have overcome incredible challenges to become life saving forces in their communities as women in global health.
"#Create2030" is a new advocacy video and create campaign produced with support of the UN's SDG Advocacy Group to engage artists in the SDGs. It's mission is to recruit and mobilize socially conscious artists who are committed to using their talents for the social good around the Global Goals. The film is narrated by Laolu with music by Ray Angry and features artists including Zap Mama, Toni Blackman, Bilal, Ivan Katz, Jared Green, Mari Malek, and others.