Elle Presents Inspiring Stories: In Partnership with Rolex
Inspiring Stories: Lindsey Vonn
In an exclusive interview, the alpine ski racer reveals what it takes to keep chasing after a lifelong dream.
Inspiring Stories: Lydia Ko
In an exclusive interview, the 19-year-old reveals what it takes to reach the top of the game
Inspiring Stories: Dr. Sylvia Earle
In an exclusive interview, Dr. Earle talks about the magic of being hundreds of feet under water.
The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey
Alex joined the filmmaking team as a Senior Producer on this acclaimed documentary series for CBS.
Alex directed and produced this piece for Popular Mechanics Magazine. She was granted exclusive access to film at JFK's air traffic control tower.
How To Fix Flying : The Controller
WE ARE DELISH
Big Fish Texas
Stapleton was one of the Producers on the hit show, Big Fish Texas, for the National Geographic Channel. The show was filmed on Galveston Island and remote locations throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
Back In Action | Big Fish Texas
TakePart World is a documentary series of short stories about global health and development initiatives. The show made it's debut on Pivot TV as a weekly special on the nightly news show TakePart Live. The series, funded by the Gates Foundation & Participant Media, received multiple nominations from the 2015 Social Impact Awards and this year's Webby Awards. Stapleton directed, produced and served as the international correspondent for each piece.
Africa's Silicon Valley
Rwanda experienced a violent civil war between the two main ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsi, that killed around one million citizens in 1994. Militant Hutus left the country in a state of poverty after using machetes to maime, rape, and murder Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Twenty years later, survivors of the genocide are using technology to improve life in Rwanda, specifically in the country's capital city, Kigali. TakePart World producer Alex Stapleton visits open innovation space, K-Lab which offers free education for citizens to share app ideas.
Aphrodice Mutangana created the Incinke app to crowd source money for those in need. Alex travels with Aphrodice to meet Stephanie, a woman who lost her entire family and home in the Rwandan genocide. Thanks to the Incike app, Stephanie now has a home with a kitchen and access to staples like food and clothing.
No Sex For Fish
Trading sex for fish has been a common problem in the Lake Victoria region of Kenya.
Pollution and damage to the area's wetlands have created more competition for the fish the community relies on to survive. With men at the helm of the nearly all fishing boats, they often demand sex—in addition to money—from women who rely on fish to feed themselves and their children. This practice, known locally as jaboya, contributes to the spread of HIV.
Pleas from conservation groups to protect threatened ecosystem were falling on deaf ears as long as women were being exploited in this way, their children going hungry if they refused to participate. So VIRED International, a local nonprofit organization focused on environmental protection and human development, started the "No Sex for Fish Initiative" by donating fishing boats to local women.
TakePart World producer Alex Stapleton spoke to a woman named Agnes, who has found success and respect through the program. Some local fishermen work for her now, and Agnes takes pride in her growing business. With immediate concerns of her health and safety taken care of, she is now able to focus on preserving Lake Victoria's wetlands—which will be key to the sustainability of fishing as a source of income and food.
Preventing Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya
The controversial practice is banned in the East African country, but women in remote areas are still subject to custom.
Women of the nomadic Samburu tribe not only take on child care roles, but are also responsible for the hard manual labor of constructing the homes in the village—yet these women have little say over their own bodies.
Governed by a small group of elders, men make all the decisions including continuing the traditional practice of female circumcision. TakePart World producer Alex Stapleton meets with junior elder, Alex Galhaile, who is part of the younger generation hoping to end these harmful practices.
Along with women's rights issues, the area is also suffering from the effects of climate change and the subsequent drought. To help restore pastoral lands, Galhaile works with the West Gate Community Conservancy and hires women to clear land and harvest acacia trees. The Samburu women find power and independence from employment, which can lead to them having more say in their own health and well-being.
Galhaile says it best: "Empowering women is empowering the whole Samburu society."
Healthcare In Africa? There's An App For That
Developers created the WinSenga app, a technical solution to combat problems such as cost and equipment in underdeveloped countries.
Frustrated by the high infant and child mortality in Kampala, Uganda, Joshua Okello helped develop an ultrasound-like application for mobile phones that can detect if a baby is in distress.
Okello used a traditional Ugandan device called a Pinard horn and modified it to connect to smartphones. The application alerts expecting mothers to potential problems and contacts the doctor.
Being Gay Makes You An Exile In This Country
In February of 2014, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a law punishing any act of homosexuality with life in prison.
Though this law was struck down in August due to a technicality, the largely Christian country remains a pocket of intolerance toward LGBT community members, who face discrimination, torture, and—if the law is re-enacted as policymakers have reportedly promised—imprisonment.
Fearing for their lives and their family's safety, some LGBT Ugandans have fled to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Homosexuality is also illegal in Kenya, and life is far from safe in the camp, home to 140,000 war refugees from South Sudan, Burundi, and DRC.
TakePart World producer Alex Stapleton talks to several Ugandan refugees still experiencing threats and violence in the camp.
How to Help Urban Refugees: Teach Them English, Soccer, and Facebook
Seeking financial independence and a place to call home, many of the world's refugees are leaving remote camps and heading to big cities. More than half of the 16.7 million refugees worldwide now live in urban areas.
Many of those in Uganda's capital city, Kampala, live in poverty. Those from French-speaking Democratic Republic of the Congo are often unable to communicate or find work among English-speaking Ugandans. They also face discrimination and isolation, all the while living in fear of possible arrest or deportation. Forced to keep a low-profile, they are out of reach of typical humanitarian aid.
TakePart World producer Alex Stapleton meets with Robert Hakiza, the cofounder of Young African Refugees for Integral Development. A refugee from the war and ongoing violence in DRC that has killed 5 million people since 1996, Hakiza and two friends developed a program to equip refugees with basic skills essential to thriving in Ugandan society. Along with language classes, YARID breaks down cultural barriers by offering social media courses and athletic programs.
Kenyan Men's Role in Family Planning
Many people in the rural area of Migori County, Kenya, have never even heard of contraception. With little knowledge of reproductive care, young couples often have more children than they are able to properly care for. Conditions in this remote area are already extremely difficult—the lack of jobs and unfarmable land also force men to work in illegal and dangerous gold mines.
TakePart World producer Alex Stapleton visits the county's local District Hospital, where men are encouraged to be a part of the family planning process in hopes of breaking the cycle of extreme poverty. By involving men in this process, hospital workers educate couples about birth control and encourage smaller families with fewer mouths to feed. The hospital also offers free male circumcision to help prevent the spread of HIV.
Rwandan Women Can Finally Own Land!
Women finally gained the right to own land in Rwanda in 1999, but many women in rural areas are unaware of this right or too afraid to report a conflict regarding ownership.
The Rwandan Initiative for Sustainable Development works to settle land disputes, primarily between husbands and wives, without turning to court intervention that can take decades to settle.
TakePart World producer Alex Stapleton traveled to Gikomero, Rwanda where she talked to Faustin and Didacienne, a couple considering divorce as Faustin attempted to force his wife off their shared land. The group's mediation committee informed the couple of the laws and Didacienne's right to the land. Like many other couples helped by the mediation committee, they've since resolved their conflict and now take pride in cultivating their crops together.
Corman's World Trailer
Official Selection of the 2011 Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals
CORMAN'S WORLD - CLIP
Behind the scenes on DINOSHARK , a Corman Cult Classic.
Chime For Change
Alex was was brought on to direct a series of PSA commercials for the CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign. The goal of the project was to bring awareness to female equality issues across the globe. The project was a unique collaboration with Beyonce Knowles and Salma Hayek who founded the organization.
Chime For Change PSA
This Is The Sound Of
This Is The Sound Of
Who Do You Chime For?
Raising An Olympian - Mary Kom
The story of India's highest ranking female boxer, Mary Kom.
Kavita Raut - India
The story of Indian running champion, Kavita Raut.
Kortney Clemons - USA
The heroic story of Kortney Clemons as he prepares for the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Paula Findlay - Canada
Paula Findlay's challenging story of becoming Canada's top performing triathlete.
Outside In : The Story of Art In The Streets
Stapleton was commissioned by LEVI’S to direct a film surveying the groundbreaking street art and graffiti exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Outside In: The Story of Art in the Streets features the work of artists including Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Due to the success of the film Stapleton joined forces with MOCA to create the street art channel for Moca TV.
OUTSIDE IN: The Story of Art in the Streets - Trailer
One Of A Kind
One of a Kind gives one lucky fashion fan the opportunity of a lifetime — the chance to meet their favorite designer and receive a custom piece designed exclusively for them. The series was a collaboration with POPSUGAR and sponsered by Diet Dr. Pepper.
One of a Kind Nanette Lepore | Should You Be Wearing Nanette Lepore to Your Next Job Interview?
One of a Kind Nanette Lepore | Stress Is On! Will Nanette Lepore Finish the Dress in Time?
One of a Kind Nanette Lepore | From Chinese Slang Teacher to Fashion Darling: Watch This Makeover!
Just For Kicks
JUST FOR KICKS is a feature length documentary produced by Stapleton. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was aired on Spike TV. The film chronicles the rise of sneaker culture through it's early roots in hip hop and street culture.