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 an award-winning filmmaker, philanthropist and the CEO and president of Fork Films. An active supporter of peacebuilding, she is passionate about advancing women’s roles in the public sphere. Disney’s 20+ films and series focus on social issues, sharing a quality of spotlighting extraordinary people who speak truth to power.


Disney’s directorial debut, The Armor of Light, has been selected for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. The Armor of Light follows an Evangelical minister trying to find the courage to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America. Reverend Rob Schenck, anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life.


Having grown up in a family of filmmakers, Disney turned to documentaries in 2008, 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. That film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, won best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008, and screened in 60 countries around the world on all seven continents. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is broadly credited with highlighting the bravery and sacrifice of its lead figure, Leymah Gbowee, who received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.


The extraordinary response to Pray the Devil Back to Hell led Disney to work on the five-part special series for PBS, “Women, War & Peace,” which aired in 2011 and was the winner of the Overseas Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Award, a Gracie Award, and a Television Academy Honor. This first-of-its-kind series created and executive produced by Abigail Disney, Pamela Hogan and Gini Reticker looked at the role of women in war in the modern age, not just as victims of conflict, but as active agents for peace in their communities.


Pray the Devil Back to Hell also led to Disney founding Peace is Loud, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and spotlighting women who are stepping up for peace and resisting violence in their communities. Together, Fork Films and Peace is Loud produced “Women, War & Peace” screening kits, dubbed into four languages, for use by international grassroots organizations in an ambitious global outreach campaign. To date, over 1,500 screening kits have been shared with 250 partner organizations at 575 screening events reaching 35,000 viewers. Events featuring the films have taken place in 82 countries—reaching all continents, including Antarctica.


Disney has also executive produced films on a wide array of social issues, including 1971, Family Affair, Citizen Koch, Hot Girls Wanted, The Invisible War (Academy Award® Nominee, Best Documentary Feature), Return, and Sun Come Up (Academy Award® Nominee, Best Documentary Short).


Disney’s other producing credits include: The Mask You Live In; She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry; The Iran Job; Sexy Baby; Mothers of Bedford; This Is How I Roll; Alias Ruby Blade; and Playground.



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.