GET TO KNOW FORK FILMS
Founded in 2007 by Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker, Fork Films creates and supports media that makes an important societal contribution, with a particular emphasis on projects that bring women’s voices to the forefront. In addition to its original productions Emmy-winning THE ARMOR OF LIGHT, THE TRIALS OF SPRING, PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL and the five-part PBS special series WOMEN, WAR & PEACE, the company has supported nearly 90 documentaries that promote peace building and social justice including CAMERAPERSON, TRAPPED, STRONG ISLAND, 1971, CITIZEN KOCH, HOT GIRLS WANTED, and the Academy Award®-nominated films THE SQUARE, SUN COME UP and THE INVISIBLE WAR.
Having grown up in a family of filmmakers, Abigail turned to documentaries when inspired to tell the story of a brave group of women who used nonviolent protests and sex strikes to bring an end to Liberia’s long civil war. She and renowned filmmaker Gini Reticker made the widely acclaimed PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL, which is broadly credited with highlighting the achievements of Leymah Gbowee, who received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. Abigail and Gini went on to found Fork Films, which is known for making and funding high profile, critically acclaimed documentaries that are seen on PBS, Netflix, HBO and other major outlets.
In addition to producing original films, Fork Films awards grants to non-fiction films that promote peacebuilding, human rights and social justice with a particular emphasis on projects with women behind or in front of the camera. As of June 2017, Fork Films has awarded over $4 million to 90 documentaries including CAMERAPERSON, TRAPPED, 1971, THE MASK YOU LIVE IN, CITIZEN KOCH, HOT GIRLS WANTED, THE INVISIBLE WAR, and SUN COME UP. Fork Films grantees have premiered at top tier film festivals, won major awards and moved the needle on important social issues.
In 2009, Abigail founded Peace is Loud, a nonprofit that inspires action through media and live events that spotlight women leaders on the frontline of peacebuilding worldwide.
Abigail’s directorial debut, Emmy-winning THE ARMOR OF LIGHT, co-directed by Kathleen Hughes, premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. The film follows Reverend Rob Schenck, an Evangelical minister, and Lucy McBath, the mother of a teenage shooting victim, who ask, is it possible to be both pro-gun and pro-life? Peace is Loud led the outreach and engagement campaign for THE ARMOR OF LIGHT to restore a moral, ethical, and theological framework to the conversation about gun violence in America. The campaign has initiated and supported dialogue with faith leaders and communities around the country, reaching out beyond the documentary film community to target dozens of conservative evangelical influencers .
In 2012, along with Pamela Hogan and Gini Reticker, Abigail created and executive produced the first-of-its-kind series for PBS, WOMEN, WAR & PEACE. The five-part series looked at women in modern war as active agents for peace and positive change makers in their communities. It garnered the Overseas Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Award, a Gracie Award, and a Television Academy Honor. Season II of the series is currently in production.
Abigail also recently executive produced the Fork Films original production THE TRIALS OF SPRING, a major multiplatform project that tells the stories of nine women on the front lines of change in the MENA region.
Abigail is the recipient of numerous awards including an honor by the International Women’s Media Foundation for advancing women’s issues and peace initiatives; IDA's Amicus Award, The International Advocate for Peace Award, presented by Cardozo Law School; and the Epic Award presented by The White House Project.
Disney received her Bachelor's degree from Yale University, her Master's degree from Stanford University and her Doctorate from Columbia University. She is a mother of four.
She is a seasoned veteran of documentary production and has successfully overseen numerous projects - from single films to episodic series - through development, production and post production while constantly balancing the non-linear creative process with the business and logistics of production.
Aideen's career began in New York where she worked with Emmy winning and nominated directors, including Michael Moore; THE AWFUL TRUTH, Ellen Weissbrod; FACE TO FACE: THE SCHAPPELL TWINS, Zuzana Justman; VOICE OF THE CHILDREN and RUBY for HBO.
Returning to Ireland, Aideen headed up production at GMarshTv developing its core strengths and increasing its slate of documentaries. She also developed and produced several IFTA award winning documentaries and series for Irish television; RTE, Tg4 and Setanta including The Writing in the Sky, The Irish New Yorkers and The West's Awake.
Aideen recently returned to New York and found the perfect fit at Fork Films.
Prior to joining Fork Films in October 2014, Ameena worked with several notable media-related companies in New York City and Los Angeles, including Conde Nast Entertainment, CBS, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, and ITVS.
Ameena holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Southern California. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and daughter and travels extensively in her free time.
Reticker helmed THE TRIALS OF SPRING, chronicling a young woman’s journey from an Egyptian village to becoming an international human rights activist. Its release was part of a multi-media project which included six short films launching online on The New York Times. Concurrently, she executive produced the 2017 Emmy-nominated THE ARMOR OF LIGHT.
Reticker directed the widely acclaimed PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL, an inspiring story of Liberian women whose actions helped bring an end to a brutal civil war. She received an Academy Award nomination for producing the short film ASYLUM, recounting one woman’s journey to political asylum in the U.S. The same year she was nominated for an Emmy for A DECADE UNDER THE INFLUENCE, a look at the heyday of 1970s filmmakers, which garnered the National Review Board's Award for Best Documentary. Her first film THE HEART OF THE MATTER, a groundbreaking film about women and AIDS, won the Sundance Film Festival’s Freedom of Expression Award. Reticker also garnered an Emmy for LADIES FIRST, the story of women rebuilding post-genocide Rwanda. She was a creator and executive producer of the PBS series WOMEN, WAR & PEACE, recipient of the Overseas Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Award as well as The Academy of Television Honors Award. Reticker co-produced THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON) - nominated for both an Academy Award and an Independent Spirit Award.
She served as Executive Producer on numerous Fork Films supported projects including the renowned CAMERAPERSON; the Netflix original HOT GIRLS WANTED; 1971; CITIZEN KOCH; ALIAS RUBY BLADE and SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY.
Juli then went on to work with K2 Pictures on productions for VH1, Comedy Central, PBS, Sci-Fi Channel, IFC, Court TV, ESPN, and the Sundance Channel, juggling roles such as production coordinator/ manager, graphics designer, editor, and post production supervisor.
She joined Fork Films in 2008 to oversee distribution of the widely acclaimed documentary PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL and stayed on full time. She has been instrumental in the company’s overall growth and development over the years. As VP of Operations, Kobayashi oversees much of the day to day operations and collaborates with the management team on legal, financial and HR-related matters.
She holds a degree from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' Film & TV production program. Outside of Fork Films, Juli is a writer and filmmaker, and wrote, produced, edited and directed a narrative short entitled ONE PAST.
As a filmmaker her work explores American social and cultural history with a particular interest in gender, popular entertainment, and material culture.
She is currently directing BIG TOP, LITTLE LADY, a feature documentary exploring the lives of female circus performers who thrilled and dazzled the crowds during the height of the American train circuses. Her first film, THIS IS HOW I ROLL, takes a behind the scenes look into the intense subculture that is modern day men’s roller derby. In a sport dominated by women, what happened when the men want to play, too?
She occasionally teaches the course “Launching Your Documentary” at Brooklyn Brainery, a community-driven, crowd sourced educational space.
Prior to joining Fork Films in 2010 her experience included work in theatre, film, television, and commercial production.
O’Brien was the founding producer of Sundance Institute’s Catalyst Initiative, an innovative annual convening between art and commerce, connecting creative investors to the most highly anticipated independent films in the country.
In 2000, O’Brien won a Primetime Emmy Award for Producing Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (American High, FOX), was nominated for the Primetime Emmy in 2001 (American High) and made a 2010 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow (Cesar's Last Fast, PIVOT/Univision/Netflix). Additionally, she was the Supervising Producer for the branded short #Selfie, which won a Clio Image Award in 2014. O’Brien’s first documentary film, A Pig With Hair, was shortlisted for the Academy Awards in 1998. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.