Amy Ziering

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Amy Ziering
Amy Ziering (49614403672).jpg
Ziering in 2020
Born1962 (age 59–60)[1]
OccupationProducer, director
Years active1998–present

Amy Ziering (born 1962 in Massachusetts) is an American film producer and director. Mostly known for her work in documentary films, she is a regular collaborator of director Kirby Dick; they co-directed 2002's Derrida and 2020's On the Record, with Ziering also producing several of Dick's films.

In 2013, she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature for producing the Dick-directed film The Invisible War.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ziering was born in 1962. She is the daughter of Sigi Ziering, a Holocaust survivor, and Marilyn Ziering.[3][4] She grew up in Beverly Hills, California.[3][4] She graduated from Amherst College before pursuing graduate work at Yale University, where she studied with Jacques Derrida.[5][6]


Early career[edit]

Ziering's first film, Taylor's Campaign (1998), directed by Richard Cohen, followed Ron Taylor, a homeless resident of Santa Monica, as he campaigned for the Santa Monica city council. Martin Sheen narrated.

Ziering then began work on Derrida (2002), a documentary about her former mentor, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. She co-directed the film with Kirby Dick.[7] It 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 collaborated with Dick again on Outrage (2009), a documentary about the lives of closeted gay politicians who legislate against gay rights, as well as the mainstream media's reluctance to report on this subject. It received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.

The Invisible War[edit]

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.[8] Several government officials have commented on the film's influence on policy, including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has said that the film convinced him to implement a wave of reforms designed to reduce the prevalence of military sexual assault.[9]

The film's revelations have also been discussed in congressional hearings and spurred lawmakers to seek better safeguards for assault survivors.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12][13]

The Hunting Ground[edit]

In 2015, The Hunting Ground premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Produced by Ziering and written and directed by Dick, the documentary is about the incidence of sexual assault on U.S. college campuses and the failed response of college administrators. It was released on February 27, 2015,[14] an edited version aired on CNN on November 22, 2015,[15][16] and the DVD was released the week of December 1, 2015.[17] It was released on Netflix in March 2016.[18] Lady Gaga recorded an original song, "Til It Happens to You", for the film.[19]

One day before the film's theatrical release, a bipartisan group of 12 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 Producers Guild of America's Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Picture award.[20] It 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.[21]The Hunting Ground was also one of the five movies nominated in the Documentary category of the 2016 MTV Movie Awards.[22]

The Bleeding Edge[edit]

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 27, 2018.[citation needed] Currently at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes[23] and a New York Times Critic's Pick of the Week,[24] the documentary, written and directed by Dick and produced by Ziering and Amy Herdy, is a deep dive into the $400 billion medical device industry,[25] where the filmmakers find shockingly lax regulations, corporate coverups and profit-driven incentives that put patients at risk daily.[26]

The film's impact 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 film.[27] Entertainment Weekly added it to its list of documentaries that have changed the world.[28] The documentary received the George Polk Award for Medical Reporting[29]—one of only a few documentaries to receive the journalistic award—and was nominated for a Peabody Award[30] and the Grierson Award for Best Science Documentary.[31]

On the Record[edit]

On October 23, 2017, Dick and Ziering announced an upcoming film on equity, parity, abuse, and representation in Hollywood.[32] They had begun working on this project while screening The Invisible War.[33][34] 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."[35]

Once the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations went public, funding appeared through Impact Partners, which also financed The Hunting Ground and The Invisible War.[33] Ziering said, "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."[35]

On the Record, Dick and Ziering's film about sexual abuse allegations against Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons, premiered to a standing ovation at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.[36] The film, which includes the voices of nine alleged survivors such as Drew Dixon, Sheri Sher, Sil Lai Abrams, Jenny Lumet, and Kelly Cutrone, has received critical acclaim. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 99% based on 71 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "On the Record uses harrowing first-person accounts to powerfully and persuasively confront the entrenched sexism of an industry and its culture."[37] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 84 out of 100, based on 22 critic reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[38]

Allen v. Farrow[edit]

Dick and Ziering's first documentary series, Allen v. Farrow is a four-part series that examines the sexual assault allegation made against Woody Allen by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, who was seven when the abuse allegedly occurred. It follows the custody battle between Allen and his former partner Mia Farrow, his marriage to her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, who is 35 years younger than Allen, and the events of subsequent years.[39] The series premiered on HBO on February 21, 2021, with the last episode airing on March 14, 2021. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 82% based on 56 reviews.[40] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[41]

RAINN announced that the series resulted in a nearly 20% increase in calls.[42]

Not So Pretty[edit]

Ziering and Dick directed Not So Pretty, a four-part series about the beauty industry and harmful chemicals in products, narrated by Keke Palmer.[43] It premiered on April 14, 2022, on HBO Max.[44]

Personal life[edit]

Ziering has three daughters and resides in Brentwood.[45]


Year Film Role
1998 Taylor's Campaign Producer
2002 Derrida Director, Producer
2007 The Memory Thief Producer
2009 Outrage Producer
2012 The Invisible War Producer
2014 The Hunting Ground Producer
2018 The Bleeding Edge Producer
2020 On the Record Director, Writer, Producer
2021 Allen v. Farrow Director, producer
2022 Not So Pretty Director, Writer, Producer

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Organization Work Category Result
2002 Golden Gate Award San Francisco Film Festival Derrida Documentary Feature Won[46]
Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival Documentary Nominated[47]
2009 Jury Award Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Outrage Best Documentary Won[48]
2010 Emmy Award National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Outstanding Investigative Journalism: Long Form Nominated[49]
2012 Audience Award Sundance Film Festival The Invisible War Best Documentary Won[50][51]
Nestor Almendros Award Human Rights Watch Film Festival Courage in Filmmaking Won[52]
Silver Heart Award Dallas International Film Festival Humanitarian Award Won[53]
Audience Award Seattle International Film Festival Best Documentary Won[54]
Audience Award Provincetown International Film Festival Best Documentary Feature Won[55]
Best of Festival DocuWest International Documentary Film Festival Humanitarian Award Won[56]
Advocacy Award Peace Over Violence Humanitarian Award Won[57]
IDA Award International Documentary Association Best Feature Nominated[58]
Audience Award Gotham Awards Audience Award Nominated
2013 Spirit Award Film Independent Best Documentary Won[59]
Academy Award Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Documentary Feature Nominated[12]
Ridenhour Prize The Nation Institute Documentary Film Won[60]
Gracie Award Alliance for Women in Media Outstanding Producer – News/Non-Fiction Won[61]
Peabody Award The Peabody Awards Won[62]
Impact Award BRITDOC Foundation Jury Special Commendation Won[63]
2014 Emmy Award National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Best Documentary Feature Won[13]
Outstanding Investigative Journalism – Long Form Won[13]
2016 Emmy Award National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences The Hunting Ground Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking Nominated[64]
PGA Award PGA Awards Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Picture Nominated[65]
Stanley Kramer Award Stanley Kramer Award Won[66]
2018 George Polk Award George Polk Awards The Bleeding Edge Medical Reporting Won[29]
2019 Peabody Award The Peabody Awards Documentary Film Nominated[30]
Grierson Award Grierson Awards Best Science Documentary Nominated[67]


  1. ^ "Derrida" – RealFictionFilme
  2. ^ "The Invisible War – Documentary Feature – Oscars 2013". ABC. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Danielle Berrin, Amy Ziering's visible war against military rape, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, February 6, 2013
  4. ^ a b Michal Shmulovich, 'Gatekeepers' director plays down Oscar hopes, The Times of Israel, February 24, 2013
  5. ^ "Filmmaker Amy Ziering Kofman To Present "Derrida" at Amherst College Feb. 5". Amherst College. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "Derrida on the big screen". The Guardian. London. July 20, 2002. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Dawson, Stephanie (June 19, 2012). "Film Review: The Invisible War". Limité. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  9. ^ Panetta, Leon (2014). Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace. New York: Penguin. p. 453.
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  11. ^ Huval, Rebecca (May 10, 2013). "Sen. Gillibrand Credits The Invisible War with Shaping New Bill". PBS. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
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  16. ^ Daunt, Tina (November 17, 2015). "CNN Defends Campus Rape Movie That Its College Critics Call "Inaccurate," "Misleading"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
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  24. ^ Jaworowski, Ken. "Review: In 'The Bleeding Edge,' Victims of Medical Devices". New York Times.
  25. ^ Japsen, Bruce. "Medical Technology Sales To Hit $500B Within Five Years". Forbes.
  26. ^ "About The Bleeding Edge". The Bleeding Edge.
  27. ^ Kiefer, Halle. "Birth Control Essure Pulled From Market Prior to Release of Netflix Doc The Bleeding Edge". Vulture.
  28. ^ Young, John; Feldberg, Isaac. "From The Bleeding Edge to Blackfish, these documentaries changed the world". Entertainment Weekly.
  29. ^ a b "'The Bleeding Edge' Doc Wins George Polk Award for Medical Reporting". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  30. ^ a b "Peabody Awards: 'Killing Eve,' 'Pose,' 'The Good Place' Among Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  31. ^ "Nominations 2019". Grierson Trust. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  32. ^ Desta, Yohana (October 23, 2017). "The World Is Finally Ready for The Hunting Ground Duo's Next Doc". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  33. ^ a b McNary, Dave (October 23, 2017). "'Hunting Ground' Filmmakers Working on Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary". Variety. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ a b "Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Will Expose Systemic Abuse in Latest Project" (PDF). The Hunting Ground. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  36. ^ Greenblatt, Leah. "Russell Simmons sexual assault documentary 'On the Record' is powerful, necessary viewing". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  37. ^ "On the Record (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  38. ^ "On the Record". Metacritic. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  39. ^ Sperling, Nicole (February 5, 2021). "Filmmakers Look at Woody Allen Abuse Allegations in Four-Part Series". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  40. ^ "Allen v. Farrow". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  41. ^ "Allen v. Farrow". Metacritic. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  42. ^ "RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline Experiences Nearly 20% Increase in Calls Following Airings of Allen v. Farrow on HBO Max". RAINN. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  43. ^ "Max Original Documentary Not So Pretty, Directed By Oscar-Nominated Filmmakers Kirby Dick And Amy Ziering, Debuts April 14". WarnerMedia. April 7, 2022. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  44. ^ Petski, Denise (September 22, 2020). "HBO Greenlights Investigative Beauty Industry Docuseries From 'On The Record' Filmmakers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  45. ^ Berrin, Danielle (February 26, 2015). "Second-degree rape". Jewish Journal. Accessed February 26, 2018.
  46. ^ Man, Anthony (May 14, 2009). "Outrage movie: Watch the trailer, read the reviews". Sun Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  47. ^ Miller, Melinda (November 28, 2001). "Sundance 2002 Opens With 'Laramie Project' – Sundance: Fresh, Familiar Faces at Festival". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. D1.
  48. ^ "Best Documentary". Awards for 2009. Miami, Florida: Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. April 24, 2009.
  49. ^ Popkey, Dan (July 21, 2010). "Two films with Idaho political connections to be honored at Emmy Awards". The Idaho Statesman.
  50. ^ Jonathan Riskind (February 26, 2012). "Collins, Snowe rank as least conservative GOP senators". Maine Sunday Telegram. MaineToday Media, Inc.; Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  51. ^ "British film continues to shine at Sundance". The Daily Telegraph. London. February 8, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  52. ^ "Sundance: The Invisible War at The Human Rights Watch Film Festival". Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  53. ^ Libresco, Caroline. "Silver Heart Award Winner: The Invisible War". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  54. ^ "SIFF 2012 Award Winners". Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  55. ^ "Provincetown International Film Festival". Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  56. ^ "DocuWest International Documentary Film Festival: September 11–15, 2013". Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  57. ^ "Annual Humanitarian Awards – Peace Over Violence". Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  58. ^ "IDA Documentary Awards 2012". Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  59. ^ "The Invisible War – Spirit Awards 2013". Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  60. ^ Lee, Diana (February 22, 2013). "2013 Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize Winner Announced". The Nation Institute. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  61. ^ "2013 Gracie Award Winners". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  62. ^ 73rd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2014.
  63. ^ "PUMA Impact Award Goes to...The Act of Killing". BRITDOC Foundation. November 14, 2013. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  64. ^ "The Hunting Ground". Television Academy. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  65. ^ Pedersen, Erik (November 23, 2015). "'Hunting Ground', 'Amy' Among PGA's Feature Documentary Nominees". Deadline. Accessed January 8, 2018.
  66. ^ PGA Honors "The Hunting Ground" With 2016 Stanley Kramer Award". Producers Guild of America. December 16, 2015. Accessed February 25, 2018.
  67. ^ "Nominations 2019". Grierson Trust. Retrieved October 21, 2019.

External links[edit]