Since opening the box of my first video camera in 2001, I've had the good fortune to make dozens of documentary films about people and places that I love. The vast majority of my documentary work focuses on the food, culture, and music of the American South and I couldn't be happier about that. From 2005 to 2015, I worked at the University of Mississippi with the sole purpose of producing documentary films. In that time I produced over 50 short films and four feature length documentaries. Some won awards, some didn't, but I loved making and sharing them all. Most recently, I directed and co-produced the documentary "Shake 'Em On Down" about blues legend Mississippi Fred McDowell. You can watch it and other documentaries I've made below.
"Shake 'Em On Down" Directed by Joe York. Produced by Scott Barretta & Joe York for the Southern Documentary Project - 2016.
ROOM 1O was produced in association with Garden & Gun Magazine in 2015 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Shortly after Katrina, I began work on a film about the reconstruction of a famed restaurant in the Treme Neighborhood of New Orleans. During that shoot, we used an abandoned school as a place to shoot interviews. In one of the school rooms I found a class roll, listing the names of the fourth graders who were in that room the week before the storm hit. For the next ten years I kept that class roll taped to the wall in my office. This film is my attempt to find the kids from Room 10 and document their lives in the tent years after Hurricane Katrina.
One of the first film's I made for the Southern Foodways Alliance was Whole Hog, a journey through the tradition of whole hog barbecue in western Tennessee. That film featured Ricky Parker of Scott's Barbecue in Lexington, TN, who passed away in 2013. Like Father follows his son Zach as he works to carry on his father's legacy. 2016.
"PRIDE & JOY" documents my journey through the diverse food cultures of the American South. Directed, Produced, & Edited by Joe York for the Southern Foodways Alliance - 2012.
MISSISSIPPI INNOCENCE tells the story of Levon Brooks and Kennedy Brewer, who spent a combined 30 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Directed, Produced & Edited by Joe York for the Southern Documentary Project - 2011