Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy has produced and directed over 35 celebrated documentaries, covering topics from the global AIDS crisis, human rights, domestic abuse, poverty, drug addiction, and political corruption. Kennedy’s films have appeared on HBO, PBS, Lifetime Television, A&E, Court TV, The Oxygen Network and The Learning Channel.
In 1999, Kennedy’s HBO film “American Hollow,” the story of a tight-knit Appalachian family, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, launching an acclaimed and prolific career and earning Kennedy the first of many Emmy® Award nominations.
Her most recent project, Ethel, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2012. The feature length documentary is Kennedy’s most personal project to date, providing an inside look at the remarkable life of Ethel Kennedy, Rory’s mother and wife to Robert F. Kennedy. Ethel was broadcast on HBO in 2012, and nominated for 5 Emmys® including Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Writer, Best Editor, and Best Cinematography in 2013.
Kennedy produced “Killing In The Name”, nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Documentary Short and winner of the LA Shorts Fest 2010.
“The Fence (La Barda)”, premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival opening night celebration. It debuted on HBO in September 2010. Before that, Kennedy produced and directed “Thank You, Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House” for HBO, and produced the 2009 Sundance entry “Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech”. In 2007, Kennedy’s “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the 2007 Primetime Emmy® Award for Best Documentary.
Kennedy also directed and produced the Emmy®-nominated series “Pandemic: Facing AIDS” for HBO. In 2003, she produced and directed “A Boy’s Life,” the story of a young boy and his family in rural Mississippi. The film was awarded the Best Documentary prize at the Woodstock Film Festival and was later broadcast on HBO. Her 2004 film “Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable,” a “what if” look at the catastrophic consequences of a radioactive release at the Indian Point Nuclear Energy Center, located just 35 miles north of midtown Manhattan. She executive produced “Street Fight,” about the controversial 2002 mayoral race in Newark, New Jersey, which earned a 2006 Academy Award® Nomination for Best Documentary.
Kennedy maintains an active speaking schedule and has been the keynote speaker for various lecture series, university events and community organizations, both nationally and internationally. She was a surrogate speaker for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992 and for President Barack Obama during the primary and general elections in 2008.
Kennedy has also spoken at a number of film-related events, including panels and seminars at the Sundance Film Festival, the Doubletake Film Festival and the Museum of Television and Radio. She has served as a judge for a number of festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival and at the Tribeca Film Festival. She recently was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Full Frame Film Festival.
Kennedy is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Documentary Branch, and is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Documentary Peer Group Executive Committee. In 2012, Kennedy joined the Sundance Alumni Advisory Board.
A graduate of Brown University, Kennedy majored in Women’s Studies. Along with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus, she is co-founder of Moxie Firecracker Productions in New York. Kennedy lives in Los Angeles and Brooklyn.
Kennedy maintains an active speaking schedule and recently has been the keynote speaker for various lecture series, university events, and community organization functions. If you would like Kennedy to speak at your next event please click Greater Talent to learn more. Follow Kennedy on Facebook.