REEL WITNESS is committed to creating a more resilient future by telling powerful stories of social change in our communities.



Reel Witness' latest documentary, Little Rebel (watch here), is about Isatou Jallow — a remarkable West African woman from The Gambia, and now Seattle resident. Since seeking asylum in the USA (2012), Isatou has pursued graduate degrees at the University Washington/UW Law School while she continuously advocates for women, asylees/refugees and people with disabilities.

The dimensions of Isatou’s epic journey—from her origins and physical hardships to scholarship, becoming a lawyer and leader, demonstrating an ultimate resiliency and altruism with a vision for Gambian children with disabilities— are deeply human, harrowing, transcendent, tenacious…and part of the American immigrant story.

Please visit our dedicated Little Rebel website.


Following the success of Little Rebel, and in light of the USA’s political climate, REEL WITNESS continues turning-up refugee voices of the Pacific Northwest via film.

August 2018:  RW starts filming the life of Hameed — a young Muslim who left everything behind in war-torn Iraq at 16, in a solo quest for a brighter more peaceable future. Now 22, like Isatou of Little Rebel, his salvation is scholarship in Seattle bound by a big altruistic dream. From flight to refuge, RW seeks to humanize the facelessness of emigration and celebrate personal tales of resiliency.

Promote advocacy-storytelling with a thoughtful donation to REEL WITNESS; their pro-bono productions are directly enhanced by your generosity. REEL WITNESS is fortunate to partner with Northwest Film Forum as our fiscal sponsor and all donations are tax deductible.

Please donate online; or, mail a check directly to NWFF at 1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (note REEL WITNESS on your check’s memo line).  Many thanks for being part of our work!


Aimie Vallat and Noah Dassel co-founded Reel Witness to highlight the important work of non-profits and foundations in our local northwest communities. RW has produced a variety of advocacy pieces over the years — addressing a myriad of timely issues, from homelessness to end of life care, to land trusts and refugees’ stories, and more.

In 2015, RW debuted their first independent short documentary: PRESENT MOMENT, which was embraced by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation and went on to screen at 26 film festivals worldwide, earning five awards. PRESENT MOMENT was hand-selected to broadcast in the KCTS9-PBS Reel NW Series; and in the spring of 2017, accolades continued with the filmmakers receiving an Emmy Award nomination.

With the film’s momentum, RW decided to focus exclusively on documentaries and expanded their crew to include Director of Photography, Guido Ronge. With 25 years experience in the film industry, Guido brings a global perspective to RW's storytelling.


May 2018 | For the win! Little Rebel takes home BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY at the Rainier Independent Film Festival. I was lucky enough to win Best Short Doc two years ago with Present Moment, so Im thrilled to be honored once more. Celebrating  below with Festival MC, Warren Etheredge and Festival Founder, Win Wittaker.


May 2018 |  Little Rebel wins BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY at the Port Orchard Film Festival!


March 2018 | Isatou travels to Dubai, United Arab Emirates to screen Little Rebel at the World of Women Middle East Film Fair!

March 2018 | Little Rebel has been officially selected for 27 film festivals throughout the world!

February 2018 | ALL GIRLS FILM CHALLENGE.  What a thrill to be standing with all these amazing women colleagues in media who are doing incredible work from feature films to animation and beyond. We had the honor of working with high school girls from film programs all over Washington state to talk all things storytelling. A  very inspiring day! 

NOVEMBER 2017 | BENEFIT at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA) | We are grateful to Thriving Communities Founder, Jerry Millhon, for hosting our first fundraiser for our next film about asylees and refugees. We screened Little Rebel and Isatou shared her powerful story. It was a fantastic evening!

October 2017 | We had a great time at the Gig Harbor Film Festival sharing Little Rebel!

October 2017 | Little Rebel has it's Washington state premiere at Tacoma Film Festival!


Fall 2017 | Aimie Vallat was interviewed in Directed By Women about her work as a storyteller. Read interview HERE