The Team

Phill  Branch
Director/Producer
Phill Branch is a writer, filmmaker and educator. He is currently shooting Searching for Shaniqua, his documentary about the impact names have on our lives. Phill was a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Fellow. Phill is a Lecturer in the English Department at Howard University and is a Teaching Artist at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in Washington D.C. Prior to Howard, Phill served as an Assistant Professor of English at his undergraduate alma mater, Hampton University. While there he helped establish a Film Studies track that began enrolling students three years ago. A graduate of the American Film Institute, Phill is a former National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) Diversity Producing Fellow and in 2007, he was awarded a Screenwriting Fellowship from the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). Phill has also served as a board member and president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. Phill created and hosted the live storytelling showcase, “dear diary…tales of love, life, pain & stupidity” at Los Angeles’ Comedy Union and Wordspace in Los Feliz. The show ran for two years. Most recently Phill has performed on the SpeakeasyDC stage. He was selected to perform in the SpeakeasyDC Top Shelf show at the Lincoln Theater. A native of Newark, NJ, Phill currently lives in Baltimore.
Eleanor  Earl
Producer
Eleanor Earl has been an Assistant Professor of English and Modern Foreign Languages at Hampton University since 2003. She became the Film and Television Studies Program Coordinator several years later, and in 2009 she received the E. L. Hamm, Sr. Distinguished Teaching Award. She teaches courses such as Screenwriting, Television Writing, Introduction to Filmmaking, Introduction to Motion Pictures, Film Criticism, English Literature and Written Communication. Since 2010 Ms. Earl has been executive producer (along with President William R. Harvey), director, and co-host of a weekly television show, “The View from Hampton U,” on COX-11 and COX-9. Ms. Earl is partnered with Shomi Patwary in Illusive Media, a multimedia company that has produced music videos and commercial video for artists such as Beyoncé, Lupe Fiasco, Diplo, Mary J. Blidge, ASAP Rocky, and many more prolific artists. She is also an executive producer on the feature film adaptation of Dr. Van Whitfield’s best-selling novel, “Something’s Wrong With Your Scale” and several other independent film and television projects that are in various stages of development. She serves on the Board of Directors for Alternative Intervention Models (www.aim4theheart.org ), an organization based in Los Angeles, CA, that is devoted to changing the lives of at-risk youth through the arts.
Stephanie Sutton
Co-Producer/DP/Editor
As a graduate of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University, Stephanie L. Sutton has edified her skills in journalism and story-telling through education and experience. While at Hampton University, Stephanie worked for three years with WHOV 88.1 FM as a DJ and later became Talk Show Director where she created the station’s first–ever entertainment news talk show, Media Mixer. Following college, Stephanie worked for WVEC Channel 13 as a Production Assistant; at MyGoodLyfe and Lynk News as a host; at Cox Channel 11 as a reporter, host, and show producer. Stephanie was also one of the co-founders of OliveCocoMag.com, a magazine of “Culture, Style, and Intelligence for Women of All Tones.” Currently one of the hosts for ‘The View From Hampton U,’ Stephanie highlights the culture, community, and on-campus events surrounding her alma mater. In 2014, Stephanie became the co-founder of The Redelynn Group (TRG), a company designed to entertain, educate, and empower through media, television, and hands-on workshops.
Joe  Walters
Co-Producer/DP/Editor
As a product of Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, Joseph Walters has been dedicated to being an exceptional journalist and videographer. During his tenure at Hampton, Joe quickly became recognized for his hard work and personality and was featured on Hampton’s radio station, WHOV 88.1’s “HU Underground.” His love for radio even carried over into his summers as he worked with Radio One’s internship program in Lanham, Maryland. After a brief stint at Virginia Beach’s Hot 102.1, he used his experience and skills to transfer from working in radio to television, becoming the co-host of a local entertainment show called “Da Circuit.” During this time, he interviewed a number of celebrities and covered a plethora of community events. This outstanding talent also worked with MyGoodLyfe.com, an online magazine in which he was instrumental in the writing and editing of sports, entertainment, and local news articles. Excelling in descriptive writing, Joe now uses his creativity in the corporate world as an online advertising account manager, helping his clients generate business through creative graphics and text. In addition to working in the corporate world, Mr. Walters has stayed grounded in his foundation of working in media by producing and editing services for his church and hosting “The View From Hampton U” at his alma mater. Joe believes it is important to give back to not only his community, but also to the younger generation for which he is doing his part in paving the way for their success. Joseph has extensive experience in business, management, and public speaking and is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Maria  Simone
Associate Producer/Camera
A recent graduate of Hampton University, Maria uses her technical skills as a camera operator and editor to help produce documentaries and reality series for web, television, and film. Maria realized the importance of capturing life on camera at an early age, which led her to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking. Her first film, “What Now,” was a short doc on gang violence in the city of Greensboro N.C., and its impact on young people in the area. In 2013, Maria won “best documentary” at the Virginia Student Film Festival along side two of her college classmates for their short, 100:1 Pictures.
Khalida Volou
Intern
Khalida Aya Volou is a Journalism major from Baltimore, Maryland. After high school she knew that the field of journalism was her destiny and calling. As a student of Scripps Howard School of Journalism at Hampton University, she aspires to one day become the next news correspondent.
Alexis Brower
Intern
Alexis "Lexy" Brower is a journalism major at Hampton University. She is originally from Pittsboro, North Carolina. Lexy originally joined Hampton University as an undecided major, but after a few testimonials within her first semester at Hampton, she soon began to understand that her calling was in the journalism field.