Rory Kennedy

Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker

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Award-winning film maker Rory Kennedy is a masterful story teller and a compelling speaker who shares her unique viewpoint of living American history. A dedicated activist, Kennedy challenges audiences to share her commitment to social advocacy and to find ways to make a difference.  Her devotion in taking on the world’s most pressing social and human rights issues serve as a call to action for audiences.

About Rory Kennedy

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 addiction, 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. Kennedy is a Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Most recently, Kennedy completed Take Every Wave, a feature documentary about the life of legendary big wave surfer Laird Hamilton. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 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.

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.

Speech Topics

  • Ghosts of Abu Ghraib: The Story of the U.S. Abuses at Iraqi Prison Camps
  • Pandemic: Facing AIDS
  • The Camera Doesn't Lie: Social Change Through Documentary Filmmaking
  • The Fence: Analyzing America’s $3 Billion Dollar Border...Was It Worth It?

Related News

Vogue: A Mother with Moxie: A New Documentary Explores the Life of Ethel Kennedy by Her Filmmaker Daughter

10/18/2012

Rory Kennedy Discusses her Documentary 'Ethel' on 'Today'

10/17/2012

Exclusive: a window into Ethel Kennedy’s life

10/17/2012

The Washington Post: Ethel Kennedy, star of new documentary ‘Ethel,’ gives high marks to director — her daughter, Rory

10/01/2012

Broadway World: HBO to Debut Kennedy Documentary ETHEL, 10/18

9/20/2012

The other Mrs Kennedy: Jackie's sister-in-law Ethel shines as Washington's real glamour girl in new documentary

7/31/2012

New York Post: The other Mrs. Kennedy

7/30/2012

Real Screen: “Ethel” takes audience award in Nantucket

6/27/2012

'ETHEL' and 'Gayby' capture honors Sunday

4/16/2012

The Examiner : Sarasota Film Festival releases schedule

3/19/2012

The Washington Post: Wife of RFK takes spotlight in daughter’s Sundance Film Festival documentary ‘Ethel’

1/26/2012

Ethel Kennedy spills family secrets

1/20/2012

What this year's Sundance Film Festival has in store

1/19/2012

The Salt Lake Tribune: Sundance: ‘Ethel’ captures the quiet Kennedy

1/18/2012

Ethel Kennedy doc will headline Sundance 2012

12/05/2011

Rory Kennedy's Killing in the Name Joining HBO2's Fall Lineup

7/28/2011

The Daily Beast: Rory Kennedy and the Campaign to Get Rid of Nuclear Plants

3/14/2011

Mayor Cory Booker: Obama's New Crime Czar?

5/28/2009

Filmmaker Rory Kennedy's New Documentary Airs on HBO

8/14/2008

Award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy premieres "The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" documentary at Sundance

1/29/2007

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