Guest Speaker: Rory Kennedy

On Friday, October 3, 2008 award-winning documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy presented “The Camera Doesn’t Lie: Social Change Via Documentary Filmmaking.” For a complete recap of Kennedy's presentation, click here.

As one of our country’s most prolific independent documentary filmmakers, Kennedy has created a body of work that tackles pressing social issues through the stories of everyday people.

Best known for her 2007 documentary, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, her numerous films have examined poverty, domestic abuse, drug addiction, human rights, AIDS, and mental illness. They have been featured on HBO, A&E, MTV, Lifetime, The Oxygen Network, Court TV, TLC, and PBS, and have garnered numerous awards and several Academy and Emmy award nominations.

A graduate of Dr. Drugovich’s alma mater, Brown University, Kennedy co-founded Moxie Firecracker Films Inc. in 1998. Her directorial and production projects include The Homestead Strike, Street Fight, American Hollow, A Boy’s Life, Pandemic: Facing AIDS, Epidemic Africa, Fire in Our House, Juvies, The Changing Face of Beauty, Travelers, Different Moms, Healthy Start, The Nazi Officer’s Wife, Sixteen, and Girlhood.

Outside of her work in film, she is active in human rights, activism, and politics, serving as surrogate speaker for President Clinton’s 1992 campaign and as a campaign speaker for Women of Substance Education Outreach and Fire in Our House Outreach.

Kennedy also is a committed social activist and human-rights advocate, and has sat on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including the Legal Action Center, the Project Return Foundation, and the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation Associate Trustees Program. She was a member of the 1999 Presidential Mission on AIDS in Africa and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Human Rights delegations in South Africa, South Korea, Japan, El Salvador, and Poland, and developed the Teacher Transfer Program between the United States and Namibia.

During her presentation, Kennedy discussed social change via documentary filmmaking, incorporating clips from her films.