GET TO KNOW FORK FILMS
Fork Films LLC is a New York-based film production company that seeks to shed light, evoke compassion, stir action and build peace. Founded in 2007 by CEO and President Abigail Disney and Chief Creative Officer 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 of PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL and the five-part PBS special series WOMEN, WAR & PEACE, the company has supported more than 50 films in the promotion of peace building, human rights and social justice, including 1971, ALIAS RUBY BLADE, CITIZEN KOCH, FAMILY AFFAIR, HOT GIRLS WANTED, THE MASK YOU LIVE IN, OUT IN THE NIGHT, PLAYGROUND, SEEDS OF TIME, SEXY BABY, THE ONLY REAL GAME, THIS IS HOW I ROLL, VESSEL, and the Academy Award-nominated films SUN COME UP (2011, Best Documentary Short) and THE INVISIBLE WAR (2012, Best Documentary Feature).
Fork Films currently has two original productions in the festival circuit, as well as an original short film available on VOD:
The feature documentary THE ARMOR OF LIGHT, Abigail Disney’s directorial debut, follows an Evangelical minister and the mother of a teenage shooting victim who ask, is it possible to be pro gun and pro-life?
THE TRIALS OF SPRING is a major cross media event that tells the stories of nine women on the front lines of change in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen. It includes a feature-length documentary directed by Oscar nominated Gini Reticker, six short films, and articles by award-winning journalists about women and their unwavering quest for social justice and freedom.
Gini Reticker’s short documentary, BUFFALO RETURNS, was co-produced by Tribeca® Digital Studios and American Express. It demonstrates how the Lakota people’s belief that the resurgence of the buffalo will help restore their community on the Pine Ridge Reservation is more than a romantic idea, but real economics, and is available to stream now on Vimeo.
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 MAS 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.
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.
Juli began her career as the office manager/production coordinator/assistant editor at a boutique commercial production company in Soho, and soon became an in-house AVID editor. Wanting to work outside of industrials and commercials, Kobayashi went on to freelance as a production assistant on productions ranging from music specials and concerts to documentaries, reality shows and live talk shows for Bravo, MTV, CBS, A&E and Warner Bros. She had varied jobs such a research assistant, green room PA, director’s assistant, casting coordinator, and cue card PA.
Joining the team at K2 Pictures in 2003, Juli worked on pilots and specials for VH1, Comedy Central, PBS, Sci-Fi Channel, Independent Film channel, Court TV, ESPN, and the Sundance Channel as production coordinator/ manager, graphics designer, editor, and post production supervisor. She also served as producer/writer/editor on video packages for awards events.
Kobayashi joined Fork Films to oversee distribution of the award-winning documentary PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL in 2008, and has stayed on full time as the company’s Operations Director.
Juli recently wrote, produced and directed her first narrative short entitled ONE PAST, which premiered at the Urbanworld Film Festival in 2014. She holds a degree from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' Film & TV production program.
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.
Before joining Fork Films, O’Brien was the lead organizing producer for Indie Caucus, a national group of independent filmmakers who support the mission of public media. In this role, O’Brien provided strategic guidance in targeting public media channels in major markets to ensure diversified documentary programming. In 2015, Indie Caucus played a pivotal role in keeping two iconic documentary series, Independent Lens and POV, on key PBS channels.
Prior to Indie Caucus, O’Brien was the founding producer of Sundance Institute’s Catalyst Forum, an annual convening of creative investors and independent filmmakers. Since 2013, Catalyst has raised millions for independent filmmakers and connected investors with the creative teams behind the year’s most highly anticipated independent narrative and documentary film projects.
O’Brien started her career training as assistant camera with Ken Burns (Lewis & Clark, Frank Lloyd Wright), and has since produced film and television with some of the most acclaimed documentary directors in the industry including: RJ Cutler (American High), Lauren Greenfield (Queen of Versailles), Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon (various films for PBS, HBO, National Geographic), Robert Greenwald (Sierra Club Chronicles), and Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe (The Bad Kids, special jury prize winner Sundance 2016).
O’Brien won a Primetime Emmy Award for Producing Outstanding Non-Fiction Program in 2000 (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 documentary 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.
An adjunct professor of documentary filmmaking at Chapman University, O’Brien is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her beloved Chihuahua and family.