Amy Ziering was born in 1962. She is the daughter of Sigi Ziering, a Holocaust survivor and Marilyn Ziering. She grew up in Beverly Hills, California. She graduated from Amherst College before pursuing graduate work at Yale University, where she studied with Jacques Derrida.
Her first film, Taylor's Campaign (1998), directed by Richard Cohen, followed Ron Taylor, a homeless resident of Santa Monica, as he campaigned to win a seat on the Santa Monica city council. Martin Sheen narrated the film.
Ziering then began work on Derrida (2002), a documentary about her former mentor, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. She partnered with Kirby Dick, with whom she co-directed Derrida. The film explores Derrida's life and work while questioning the limitations of biography. It won the Golden Gate Award at the 2002 San Francisco International Film Festival.
She next produced a feature narrative, The Memory Thief (2007), directed by Gil Kofman. The film chronicles the experiences of a young man who becomes involved in documenting the experiences of survivors of the Holocaust as his commitment turns into obsession and madness. Ziering again collaborated with Kirby Dick on Outrage (2009), a documentary that examined the lives of closeted gay politicians who legislate against gay rights, as well as the mainstream media's reluctance to report on this subject. The film received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.
The Invisible War
In 2012, she premiered The Invisible War at the Sundance Film Festival where it received the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film examines the epidemic of rape in the United States Armed Forces, and has been heralded for exposing a culture of sexual abuse at Marine Barracks Washington. Several government officials have commented on the film's influence on policy, including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has stated that viewing the film convinced him to implement a wave of reforms designed to reduce the prevalence of military sexual assault.
The film's revelations have also been discussed in congressional hearings and spurred lawmakers to seek better safeguards for assault survivors. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand credits the film with inspiring her to introduce the Military Justice Improvement Act, which would establish an independent judiciary to oversee accusations of sexual assault in the armed forces.
Among other honors, The Invisible War received a nomination for Best Documentary Feature at the 85th Academy Awards and won Emmy Awards for Best Documentary Feature and Outstanding Investigative Journalism.
The Hunting Ground
In 2015, The Hunting Ground premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Produced by Ziering, and written and directed by Kirby Dick, the film is a documentary about the incidence of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States and the failed response of college administrators. The film was released on February 27, 2015, an edited version aired on CNN on November 22, 2015, and was released on DVD the week of December 1, 2015. It was released on Netflix in March 2016. Lady Gaga recorded an original song, "Til It Happens to You," for the film.
One day before the theatrical release of the film, a bipartisan group of twelve U.S. Senators, accompanied by the film's lead subjects, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, reintroduced the Campus Accountability and Safety Act requiring universities to adopt standard practices for weighing sexual charges, and to survey students on the prevalence of assault.
The Hunting Ground was nominated for a 2016 Emmy Award for “Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking” and for the "Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Picture" award by the Producers Guild of America. In December 2016, the film won the 2016 Stanley Kramer Award given to “a production, producer or other individual whose achievement or contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues.The Hunting Ground was also one of the five movies nominated in the Documentary category of 2016 MTV Movie Awards.
The Bleeding Edge
The Bleeding Edge premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews and received further critical acclaim after its worldwide release on Netflix on July 27th, 2018. Currently at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and named the New York Times’ Critic's Pick of the Week, the documentary, written and directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Ziering and Amy Herdy, is a deep dive exploration on the $400 billion medical device industry where the filmmakers find shockingly lax regulations, corporate cover-ups and profit-driven incentives that put patients at risk daily.
The impact of the film was felt immediately as a week before its release, The Bleeding Edge became a part of a national news story when Bayer removed the birth control device Essure from the U.S. market, one of the many devices heavily criticized and warned about in the doc. Entertainment Weekly promptly added it on their list of documentaries that have changed the world.
Upcoming Hollywood documentary
On October 23, 2017, Dick and Ziering announced an upcoming film on equity, parity, abuse, and representation in Hollywood. They had begun working on this project while screening The Invisible War. In a statement to media, Ziering said:
“Every time we screened that film in Hollywood, actors and executives would come up to us and say that they had had similar experiences right here. So, we began working on this project and immediately found ourselves grappling with the same forces that had kept this story silenced for so long. Everyone was frightened about what would happen to their careers, and worried about whether they would be sued. Distributors were unwilling to fund or release the film, and few people were willing to talk on the record.”
Once the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations went public, funding appeared through Impact Partners, which also financed “The Hunting Ground” and “The Invisible War.” Ziering noted, “People at long last are speaking out in large numbers, and we feel this industry, and the country, is finally ready for an unflinching film about the reality of sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood.”
The film currently has no title or release date.
|2007||The Memory Thief||Producer|
|2012||The Invisible War||Producer|
|2014||The Hunting Ground||Producer|
Awards and nominations
|2002||Golden Gate Award||San Francisco Film Festival||Derrida||Documentary Feature||Won|
|Grand Jury Prize||Sundance Film Festival||Documentary||Nominated|
|2009||Jury Award||Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival||Outrage||Best Documentary||Won|
|2010||Emmy Award||National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences||Outstanding Investigative Journalism: Long Form||Nominated|
|2012||Audience Award||Sundance Film Festival||The Invisible War||Best Documentary||Won|
|Nestor Almendros Award||Human Rights Watch Film Festival||Courage in Filmmaking||Won|
|Silver Heart Award||Dallas International Film Festival||Humanitarian Award||Won|
|Audience Award||Seattle International Film Festival||Best Documentary||Won|
|Audience Award||Provincetown International Film Festival||Best Documentary Feature||Won|
|Best of Festival||DocuWest International Documentary Film Festival||Humanitarian Award||Won|
|Advocacy Award||Peace Over Violence||Humanitarian Award||Won|
|IDA Award||International Documentary Association||Best Feature||Nominated|
|Audience Award||Gotham Awards||Audience Award||Nominated|
|2013||Spirit Award||Film Independent||Best Documentary||Won|
|Academy Award||Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences||Best Documentary Feature||Nominated|
|Ridenhour Prize||The Nation Institute||Documentary Film||Won|
|Gracie Award||Alliance for Women in Media||Outstanding Producer – News/Non-Fiction||Won|
|Peabody Award||The Peabody Awards||Won|
|Impact Award||BRITDOC Foundation||Jury Special Commendation||Won|
|2014||Emmy Award||National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences||Best Documentary Feature||Won|
|Outstanding Investigative Journalism – Long Form||Won|
|2016||Emmy Award||National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences||The Hunting Ground||Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking||Nominated|
|PGA Award||PGA Awards||Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Stanley Kramer Award|
|Stanley Kramer Award||Won|
- "Derrida" – RealFictionFilme
- "The Invisible War – Documentary Feature – Oscars 2013". ABC. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Danielle Berrin, Amy Ziering’s visible war against military rape, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, February 6, 2013
- Michal Shmulovich, ‘Gatekeepers’ director plays down Oscar hopes, The Times of Israel, February 24, 2013
- "Filmmaker Amy Ziering Kofman To Present "Derrida" at Amherst College Feb. 5". Amherst College. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "Derrida on the big screen". London: The Guardian. July 20, 2002. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Handelman, Michelle (October 24, 2002). "INTERVIEW: Two Filmmakers Take On a Genius; Amy Ziering Kofman and Kirby Dick Discuss "Derrida"". Indiewire. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Dawson, Stephanie (2012-06-19). "Film Review: The Invisible War". Limité. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Panetta, Leon (2014). Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace. New York: Penguin. p. 453.
- Rohter, Larry (January 23, 2013). "A Documentarian Focused on Trauma in Its Many Forms". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Huval, Rebecca (10 May 2013). "Sen. Gillibrand Credits The Invisible War with Shaping New Bill". pbs.org. PBS. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Oscars 2013: Complete list of nominees". The Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "NATIONAL ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS AND SCIENCES ANNOUNCES WINNERS AT THE 35TH ANNUAL NEWS & DOCUMENTARY EMMY AWARDS". emmyonline.org. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- Setoodeh, Ramin (May 1, 2015). "Campus Rape Doc 'The Hunting Ground' Premieres at Sundance". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- Barnes, Brooks (January 25, 2015). "An Unblinking Look at Sexual Assaults on Campus". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- Daunt, Tina (November 17, 2015). "CNN Defends Campus Rape Movie That Its College Critics Call "Inaccurate," "Misleading"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
- "New to DVD: Week of Dec. 1". Visalia Times-Delta. Gannett Company. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "New on Netflix: The campus rape doc 'The Hunting Ground'". Metro US. 2016-03-28. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
- Murphy, Shaunna (January 26, 2015). "Here's How Lady Gaga's Song About Sexual Assault Ended Up At Sundance". MTV. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- Kilday, Gregg (November 23, 2015). "'The Hunting Ground' Among PGA Documentary Film Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
- Pedersen, Erik (16 December 2015). "'The Hunting Ground' Bags PGA's Stanley Kramer Award". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- Odiamar, Danielle (April 10, 2016). "MTV Movie Awards 2016: A Complete List of Nominees and Winners". Elle. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- "The Bleeding Edge". Rotten Tomatoes.
- Jaworowski, Ken. "Review: In 'The Bleeding Edge,' Victims of Medical Devices". New York Times.
- Japsen, Bruce. "Medical Technology Sales To Hit $500B Within Five Years". Forbes.
- "About The Bleeding Edge". The Bleeding Edge.
- Kiefer, Halle. "Birth Control Essure Pulled From Market Prior to Release of Netflix Doc The Bleeding Edge". Vulture.
- Young, John; Feldberg, Isaac. "From The Bleeding Edge to Blackfish, these documentaries changed the world". Entertainment Weekly.
- Desta, Yohana (October 23, 2017). “The World Is Finally Ready for The Hunting Ground Duo’s Next Doc”. Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
- McNary, Dave (October 23, 2017). “‘Hunting Ground’ Filmmakers Working on Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary”. Variety. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
- “Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Will Expose Systemic Abuse in Latest Project” (PDF). The Hunting Ground. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Adams, Sam (October 23, 2017). “The Creators of The Hunting Ground Are Making a Movie About Sexual Assault in Hollywood”. Slate. Accessed March 1, 2018.
- Berrin, Danielle (February 26, 2015). “Second-degree rape”. Jewish Journal. Accessed February 26, 2018.
- Man, Anthony (May 14, 2009). "Outrage movie: Watch the trailer, read the reviews". Sun Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- Miller, Melinda (November 28, 2001). "Sundance 2002 Opens With 'Laramie Project' – Sundance: Fresh, Familiar Faces at Festival". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. D1.
- "Best Documentary". Awards for 2009. Miami, Florida: Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. April 24, 2009.
- Popkey, Dan (July 21, 2010). "Two films with Idaho political connections to be honored at Emmy Awards". The Idaho Statesman.
- Jonathan Riskind (February 26, 2012). "Collins, Snowe rank as least conservative GOP senators". Maine Sunday Telegram. MaineToday Media, Inc.; www.pressherald.com. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- "British film continues to shine at Sundance". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group Limited; www.telegraph.co.uk. February 8, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- "Sundance: The Invisible War at The Human Rights Watch Film Festival". Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
- Libresco, Caroline. "Silver Heart Award Winner: The Invisible War". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- "SIFF 2012 Award Winners". Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
- "Provincetown International Film Festival". Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- "DocuWest International Documentary Film Festival: September 11–15, 2013". Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "Annual Humanitarian Awards – Peace Over Violence". Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "IDA Documentary Awards 2012". Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- "The Invisible War – Spirit Awards 2013". Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Lee, Diana (February 22, 2013). "2013 Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize Winner Announced". The Nation Institute. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "2013 Gracie Award Winners". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- 73rd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2014.
- "PUMA Impact Award Goes to...The Act of Killing". britdoc.org. BRITDOC Foundation. 14 November 2013. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "The Hunting Ground". Television Academy. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
- Pedersen, Erik (November 23, 2015). “‘Hunting Ground’, ‘Amy’ Among PGA’s Feature Documentary Nominees”. Deadline. Accessed January 8, 2018.
- PGA Honors "The Hunting Ground" With 2016 Stanley Kramer Award”. Producers Guild of America. December 16, 2015. Accessed February 25, 2018.
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