Emily is an independent film director, screenwriter, producer, and editor who teaches Cinema and Television Arts at Columbia College Chicago. With an MFA in film and a BA in Graphic Design and International Studies, Railsback's work crosses a multitude of artistic media with an emphasis on culture, the environment, and social justice. She shot, directed, and edited “Our Blood Is Wine”, a feature-length documentary on an iPhone 6, capturing intimate portraits of rural winemakers reviving 8,000 year old traditions in the Republic of Georgia that were nearly lost during the Soviet rule. The film premiered at the Berlinale International Film Festival in 2018, and was distributed theatrically by Music Box Films (US), Magnet Film (Berlin), and Uplink (Japan). She began the production company Burnt Sugar Productions in 2015 with husband and sommelier Jeremy Quinn. Together they tell stories of culture through the lens of beverage, and are in post-production on their second documentary feature "Made In Japan", telling the story of winemaking in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.
Railsback's prior work consists of narrative short films, music videos, visual arts and international studies. While teaching kids living in Peruvian slums, she created an award-winning photography and painting exhibit "A Juxtaposition of Peruvian Life," documenting quality of life among the poor in cities versus the Peruvian countryside.
Railsback’s work blends documentary and narrative genres, as well as music videos. She has directed 7 narrative shorts which have premiered at festivals across the country, including "WarBaby", a short, dark drama that was the recipient of the Albert P. Weisman grant, and one of many collaborations with producer Lindsay Rathert. Railsback directed Gayerbear’s music video ‘GAMS’, which premiered at the Austin Music Video Festival in December 2018, and went on to direct Gayerbear’s Live Visual Album, a musical comedy at the Second City in Chicago.