Laurels

The Filmmakers




Gini Reticker Gini Reticker (Director) is one of the world's leading documentary filmmakers whose primary focus is on individuals, particularly women, engaged in struggles for social justice and human rights. Her films cover subjects often overlooked by mainstream media, such as women in war zones whose stories have largely gone untold. Her filmmaking has taken her to conflict zones around the globe, including.Liberia, Rwanda, and Afghanistan.

Ms. Reticker is an Executive Producer on a groundbreaking five-part special series, Women, War & Peace for PBS. The series challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are solely the domains of men, examining how war affects women and highlighting their efforts to bring about peace. Previously, Ms. Reticker directed the award-winning documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Produced by Abigail E. Disney, the film presents the story of Liberian women who overcame barriers of gender and politics to end their country’s century-long civil war. “If you don’t tell the story, then it’s not history; it just totally evaporates,” Ms. Reticker said of this film—a statement that aptly describes her work as a whole.

Ms. Reticker currently sits on the board of Peace Is Loud, an organization launched from the groundswell of interest in Pray the Devil Back to Hell that supports female voices and international peace-building through nonviolent means.

Ms. Reticker produced Asylum, a 2004 Academy Award®-nominated short focusing on the story of a Ghanaian woman who fled female genital mutilation to seek political asylum in the U.S. She was also the producer/co-director of Heart of the Matter, the first full-length documentary about the impact of HIV on women in the U.S. The film won a Sundance Award in 1994. She produced and directed the 2005 Emmy Award-winning documentary Ladies First for the PBS series Wide Angle, which focuses on the role of women in rebuilding post-genocide Rwanda. For Wide Angle she also directed The Class of 2006, which told the story of the first fifty women in Morocco to graduate from an imam academy in Rabat.

Reticker's other credits include: Producer: A Decade Under the Influence, a look at the heyday of 1970s filmmakers, winner of a National Review Board Award and an Emmy nomination for Best Documentary; Director: In the Company of Women, IFC's spotlight on women in Hollywood; Co-Producer: The Betrayal, Nerakhoon, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phravasath's brilliant portrayal of a Laotian refugee family’s epic tale of survival and resilience, 2009 nominee for both an Academy Award® and Independent Spirit Award; Executive Producer: Live Nude Girls Unite, Julia Query and Vicki Funari's raucous look at the successful union organizing efforts of San Francisco-based strippers.

Reticker started her career as an editor on renowned documentaries such as Michael Moore's Roger & Me; Deborah Shaffer’s Emmy-nominated Fire From the Mountain; and The Awful Truth: The Romantic Comedy, for the PBS American Cinema Series.



Abigail E. Disney Abigail E. Disney (Producer) is a filmmaker, philanthropist and activist based in New York City. She has pursued a wide array of activities in support of peace and non-violence particularly by advocating for the advancement of women’s roles in the public sphere. Her longtime passion for women’s issues and peacebuilding led her to producing films. She has executive produced films that address various social issues, including Family Affair, Playground, Sun Come Up (Academy Award® Nominee 2011, Best Documentary Short), Return, Invisible War (Academy Award® Nominee 2012, Best Documentary Feature), Open Heart (Academy Award® Nominee 2012, Best Documentary Short) and is involved in several more films in various stages of development and production.


Her first film, a feature-length documentary called Pray the Devil Back to Hell tells the inspirational story of the women of Liberia and their efforts to bring peace to their broken nation after decades of destructive civil war. After winning best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival Pray the Devil Back to Hell went on to wide acclaim. Viewed across the US at community screenings, in theaters and on public television, it went on to screen in 60 countries around the world, and is broadly credited with helping its lead figure, Leymah Gbowee be named a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2012.


In bringing Pray the Devil Back to Hell to more than 30 countries herself, Abigail recognized the need to support grassroots women’s movements for peace in their local contexts, and started Peace is Loud to find, build and back the women who were stepping up for peace and resisting violence in their communities. Since 2009 Peace is Loud has been building on and amplifying their stories, and helping them to find broader recognition for their pivotal work. In her capacity as founder of Peace Is Loud, Abigail has worked with women’s groups in many countries to help develop their strategies for peace.


The success of Abigail’s first film led to more film opportunities, including the five-part special series for PBS, Women, War & Peace, which aired in 2011. This series was a first-of-its-kind look at the role of women in war in the modern age, not just at victims of conflict but as active agents for peace in their communities. The fifth hour in the series, War Redefined, looks at war and particularly at the weapons trade as a women’s issue, and analyzes their role in building peace around the world. Fork Films, Abigail’s production company, has created a “screening series in-a-box” set which Peace Is Loud , is currently working to distribute to community-based organizations around the world to assist them in their work for peace.



Kirsten Johnson Kirsten Johnson's (Director of Photography) who works both as a cinematographer and director, recently shot the Sundance 2012 Audience Award winner, The Invisible War. In 2011, she was the supervising DP on Abby Disney and Gini Reticker's series, Women, War and Peace, traveling to Colombia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. She shared the 2010 Sundance Documentary Competition Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for The Oath. Her cinematography is featured in Farenheit 9/11, Academy Award-nominated Aslyum, Emmy-winning Ladies First, and Sundance premiere documentaries, Finding North (now titled "A Place at the Table"), This Film is Not Yet Rated, American Standoff, and Derrida. A chapter on her work as a cinematographer is featured in the book, "The Art of the Documentary”. She is currently editing a documentary on sight that she shot and directed in Afghanistan. Her previous documentary as a director, Deadline, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004, was broadcast on primetime NBC, and won the Thurgood Marshall Award.