Experience and never forget.


About Us

Our company was established in 2005 and is based in Washington,DC.



100% African American Owned and Operated

It Started With A Childhood Dream...

Founder, Paul Grant circa 1981
Paul Grant, Ascender Films Inc., Founder, circa 1981

Way back in 1981, an eight-year-old boy from rural South Carolina was taken to the movies to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. He was completely enthralled by what he saw: Travel. Adventure. Magic. History and culture.  Even though none of it reflected any aspect of his own rural life, it suggested how much bigger the world was the world was. A few months later, he saw the documentary special on the making of this wonderful film was broadcast on his local PBS station.  It all came together in his mind.

“I want to do that when I grow up,” He turned to his older sister and proclaimed. He imagined that he would spend his life traveling, photographing the world and telling stories. He was told, “You don’t see too many black people doing that type of work. You should consider something more practical.” He turned his head back to the screen, unsure of what she meant and why he wouldn’t fit in among the teams of mostly white males making magic in the desert, and quietly let that dream continue to unfold in his mind.

Ascender Films was established in January 2005, by award-winning filmmaker, motion designer and producer Paul V. Grant after winning $25,000 from Black AIDS Institute and Kaiser Family Foundation to co-produce and direct the documentary short-film ‘Tangy’s Song! For Black Entertainment Television.  For the past 15 years, he as led a talented creative team to produce premium scripted and unscripted, branded content for business, non-profit advocacy groups and governments agencies.  We also produce independent feature length and episodic documentary films. Our work is focused in the areas of history, public health, science, and environment.

We are passionate about the craft of telling great stories. However, talent and technical expertise is not enough. Our approach is simple: We dream with our clients and we work hard to achieve a singular vision that fills every frame of every story that we tell with clear a message, emotional storytelling and memorable visual approaches.

There are no hard-to-reach populations. Only careless messengers.

Over the past 15 years, much of our unscripted/documentary work has told stories about African American foodways and history, education, science, environmental and social justice, science, and public health advocacy, and education. We are very proud of this work. As a black-owned creative agency, we hold a deep responsibility to offer a high level of empathy, creativity, premium broadcast-quality production values, and technical approaches to tell these stories in a memorable way—especially when these stories are targeting communities of color. There are no hard-to-reach populations: only careless messengers. As we continue to work in the areas of branded content, including scripted advertising and even feature-length creative work we will always lend our support to those sincere government and non-governmental agencies who fight to preserve collective history and improve our way of life.

When great stories must be told, let us tell your story.


Paul Grant, Founder + Chief Creative Officer
Founder, Chief Creative Officer

Paul Grant

Principal, Chief Creative Officer

E: pgrant@ascender-c.com
O: (202)-888-3236

Paul Grant is an nationally recognized filmmaker, multimedia designer and serves as the Senior Producer and Chief Creative Officer of Ascender Communications, Inc.  He established the company in 2005, as a result of having won a film production grant from Kaiser Family Foundation and The Black AIDS Institute to produce the award-winning documentary film Tangy’s Song! for Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) national ‘Rap-It-Up’ HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in 2004.

Under his leadership, the company has produced award-winning creative has included radio PSAs, political advocacy commercials, conference presentations, several series of online educational and promotional videos and a host of other interactive content in support of successful marketing and public awareness campaigns. His client list includes, well-known non-profit organizations such as: Robert Wood Johnson FoundationUnited Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); The Balm In Gilead, Inc.Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU Local 689);  and federal agencies including; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Office of HIV/AIDS Policy (OHAP), Office on Women’s Health (OWH) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).  Paul has also worked with many private corporations to produce outstanding creative work, specifically targeting communities of color.

He began his career in 1995 as a photojournalist for the Richmond Free Press newspaper and then followed his heart into television production in 1997, working at New Millennium Studios, the first full-service film and video production studio in Virginia, as a production assistant on feature films, commercials and the critically acclaimed Showtime network series ‘Linc’s.’   His work has been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Paul Grant studied graphic design and film at Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Visual Arts in Richmond, VA.

Tracey Grant

Tracey Grant
Principal, Digital Engagement

E: tracey@ascender-c.com
O: (202)-888-3237

Tracey Middleton-Grant is a member of the executive and senior leadership team at Ascender Communications dba Ascender Films, Inc. Tracey always had a passion for writing, design, and great storytelling. Throughout her career, she has led numerous creative teams and provided strategic direction for branding, digital engagement, and content development under contracts with commercial businesses, non-profits, and federal government contracting firms.

A native of Washington, D.C. and graduate of Howard University, Tracey has a diverse writing and producing portfolio which includes radio PSAs, e-newsletters, digital ad creation, branding/promos for corporate social media and websites, scripts for video testimonials, short- and long formatted documentaries, as well as producing interactive content for health service marketing and public awareness campaigns, with a focus on audience amplification and effective two-way communication between consumers, patients, healthcare clinics and organizations.

At Ascender, Tracey has blended her passion for ‘impactful’ storytelling and skills creating digital/motion-based content into her role as a senior film producer. She has spearheaded exceptional work as the co-senior producer for numerous domestic short films and international health campaigns ranging in topics. Most notably in 2012, she served as a Co-Producer and lead researcher for Ascender’s first feature-length documentary, “The Gospel of Healing: Black Churches Respond to HIV/AIDS”. In addition, she traveled to Tanzania, Africa in 2009 and co-produced a multi-series video presentation for a faith-based, community-based organization to document programs serving children orphaned by HIV and AIDS. 

Before transitioning into a content creation and film career, Tracey worked in various capacities as a clinical social worker, therapist, consultant and program manager for various social service agencies and federal contractors in the DC Metropolitan area. In these roles, she provided strategic program direction of medical services and treatment for vulnerable and under-served populations living with chronic illnesses, including substance abuse, addictions, HIV/AIDS, and mental illness. For eight (8) years she also served as the Director for HHS, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), National HIV/AIDS Technical Assistance and Training (TA/T) Program. In this capacity she recruited and supervised the performance of over 250 consultants providing program and operational training and technical assistance for HRSA’s staff and HRSA’s Ryan White Program grantees located across the United States, including the islands of Puerto Rico and Guam.

Tracey Grant

Taylor Treacy
Digital Marketing Coordinator

E: taylor@ascender-c.com

Lead Cinematographer



Lead Stylist / Makeup Consultant

Social Outreach Consultant