Alana Murphy

Alana Murphy is a documentary filmmaker from Fort Collins, Colorado. She studies Digital Film at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces with an emphasis in cinematography and editing. In the summer of 2017, Alana traveled to Sri Lanka to shoot a documentary about an elephant caretaker. The short documentary was submitted to the Las Cruces International Film Festival and was well-received by the audiences who saw it. In 2015, Alana was the Assistant Artistic Director of the Las Cruces International Film Festival and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Bordscene Film Festival.  She is currently producing and directing a documentary about mental illness which hopes to reduce stigma surrounding mental disorders, and she continues to search for stories to document.  In her free time, Alana loves to watch movies, draw, and hang out with her friends. Her love of giraffes has prompted her to being saving up for a trip to Africa where she plans to make a documentary about ensuring the safety and protection of giraffes. Alana’s focus and hard work makes her a great artist and storyteller.


Project Description:

Alana is working on a documentary series about mental illness which aims to reduce stigma surrounding mental disorders. Each episode will be about a different person with a different mental illness or disorder. In the series are subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.



  • Project description, timeline, and milestones developed with mentor; on file with DSP
  • Complete half of project milestones
  • Complete project
  • Present Scholarly work at URCAS
  • Attend a professional conference (without presenting)
  • Present scholarly work at conference, exhibition, recital, film festival, reading, etc.
  • Promote #DiscoveryScholars ten times on social media


Alana’s mentor: Sherwin Lau:

Sherwin Lau is an award-winning filmmaker and educator based in New Mexico. Since 2006, he has worked on feature films, documentaries, commercials and music videos and has collaborated with filmmakers all around the world. He has worked for clients such as Warner Brothers Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Fueled By Ramen, Blackmagic Design, Crush, and Gypsy City Music. His professional work has been featured in prestigious film publications like American Cinematographer. Sherwin is a DaVinci Resolve Certified Trainer and a professional member of the Colorist Society International. In addition to his filmmaking career, he teaches undergraduate courses in Editing, Color Grading, Sound Design, Cinematography, Producing, Documentary and Short Film Production. He is excited to be mentoring Alana on her project!