Ashley Panzera

When the Land Turned Black, 2014

image (1)

Ashley Panzera, a documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn, has worked on the award-winning feature films (A)sexual, Pushing The Elephant, and Black and Cuba. Her most recent project, Noise Runs, examines citizen journalists in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and is currently screening across the country. She works as a Video Associate at Human Rights First, shooting and editing advocacy videos, and is an active member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective. Ashley received her B.A. in Media Studies and minor in Women Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and was awarded a UnionDocs Collaborative Fellowship in 2010.

Artist Statement:

When The Land Turned Black is a glimpse into the life of a third generation farmer in North Dakota, Donny Nelson, and the changes he’s seen to his land during one of America’s largest oil booms. With over 25 oil wells drilled on his property in the past few years, Nelson has documented spills, accidents and the release of dangerous gasses on his once-peaceful farm. Donny’s connection and love for his land is a powerful contrast to the oil industry around him. The film is part of a multimedia journalism project called The Oil Men and Nelson’s story will be featured in an upcoming book by journalist Blaire Briody from St. Martin’s Press. For more information, visit us at or find us on Facebook.