Carylanna is a filmmaker and cultural anthropologist with an MFA in Producing from the AFI Conservatory.
She recently worked as a development intern with Oscar-winning production companies including Bona Fide (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, NEBRASKA), ImageMovers (CASTAWAY, FINCH), and The Population (SWALLOW, I CARRY YOU WITH ME).
Originally from southwestern Pennsylvania, she spent over twenty years teaching and researching in Latin America and the US with a focus on migration and natural resource management. As an applied cultural anthropologist (PhD, University of South Florida), her research received recognition through National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and Fulbright grants.
In 2012, Carylanna partnered with Jacob Okada in First Encounter Productions to apply anthropology through film. With First Encounter, she directed and produced the narrative feature ANYA (2019) and produced the documentary feature PAINTING THE WAY TO THE MOON (2015). These films included deep dives into genetics and astrophysics. At AFI she produced six short films, including DUST (2022) and I THOUGHT THE EARTH REMEMBERED ME (2022).
She is currently developing two original projects: a feature about a family's first encounter with bipolar disorder and a series inspired by her anthropological research on how Honduran transnational families managed their water and land in the face of economic and political instability.https://www.firstencounterproductions.com