St. Helena Island is a rare gem on the South Carolina coastline. African Americans have farmed and fished here for centuries: first as plantation slaves, then as freedmen owning small subsistence operations. In Gullah Gone: Preserving the Land, Water and Culture of the Sea Islands, four landowners on St. Helena struggle to make a living off land their families have owned since Reconstruction. They face a double challenge. They must stave off the threat of development, and recruit the next generation of caretakers.
Director and Producer Denise McGill has worked as a photojournalist, videographer and writer for 20+ years. She’s stood on five continents gathering images that document the human experience. She comes from a Midwestern farming family, and she has seen first-hand the challenges of maintaining the land and keeping it in the family. She now teaches journalism at the University of South Carolina. She focuses on story development and raising funds for the film. Joining her is Producer Sherard Duvall, founder of OTR Media. He has produced corporate films and episodes for ESPN, Discovery Health and VH1 to name a few. A South Carolina native, he handle logistics, and provides local film connections. They are proud of the multicultural team that has assembled to tell this story.