Rory Kennedy is one of America’s most prolific documentary filmmakers. An Academy Award nominated, Primetime Emmy Award winning Director/Producer, Kennedy’s work deals with some of the world’s most pressing issues—poverty, political corruption, domestic abuse, drug addition, human rights, and mental illness. Kennedy has made more than 30 highly acclaimed documentaries. Her films have appeared on HBO, PBS, Lifetime Television, A&E, Court TV, The Oxygen Network and TLC.
Most recently, Kennedy completed Take Every Wave, a feature documentary about the life of legendary big wave surfer Laird Hamilton. The film will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017.
In 2014, Kennedy made the Academy Award nominated Last Days in Vietnam, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and went into wide theatrical release in the fall of that year. At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, she premiered Ethel, a feature length documentary chronicling the extraordinary life of her mother Ethel Kennedy, wife of Robert F. Kennedy. The film was nominated for 5 Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 2011, Kennedy produced Killing in the Name, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short. In 2009, she Executive Produced Street Fight, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. In 2007, her film Ghosts of Abu Ghraib premiered at Sundance and went on to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special.
Her other projects include Bobby Fisher Against the World (2011), Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech (2009) and The Fence (2010). Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, and she’s appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Today Show, CNN and NPR.
Kennedy is a Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. A graduate of Brown University, she majored in Women’s Studies. Along with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus, she is co-founder of Moxie Firecracker Film in New York and Los Angeles.
A committed activist, Kennedy continues to fight for social justice and human rights. She maintains an active speaking schedule and recently has been the keynote speaker for various lecture series, university events, and community organization functions. Kennedy lives in Los Angeles with her husband and 3 children.