Kimberly Reed

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Kimberly Reed
Kimberly Reed, 2018 Montclair Film Festival.jpg
Reed in 2018
Montana, U.S.
Notable work

Kimberly Reed is an American film director and producer who is best known for her documentaries Prodigal Sons[1] and Dark Money which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.[2] [3] In 2007, Filmmaker magazine named her one of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film."[4]

Early life[edit]

Kimberly Reed was born in Montana and attended Helena High School.


Reed earned a Bachelor of Arts from University of California at Berkeley where she graduated magna cum laude. Reed earned a Master of Arts in film production from San Francisco State University.


Throughout her career, Reed has pursued projects across artistic venues. As a filmmaker, Reed's work has been featured at festivals and across platforms. Her most recent project is the film Dark Money which, "examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials."[5] Earlier work has explored LGBT issues, families, and the transgender community in New York City. Reed also wrote an opera and her written work has been featured in a number of print publications and other forums.


Dark Money[edit]

Dark Money premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018.[6] Variety describes the film as a "potent investigative piece."[7] In early 2018 the film traveled to several festivals and the rights to the film were purchased by PBS and will be broadcast in fall 2018 as part of the POV series of documentaries.[8] Dark Money is Kimberly Reed's sophomore documentary and explores the influence on dark money in Montana politics and beyond post-Citizens United.

Prodigal Sons[edit]

Prodigal Sons is an autobiographical account of Kimberly Reed's return home to Montana for her 20th high school reunion as a trans woman. The film evolves into an exploration of family, sibling rivalry, coming out, and reconciling with the past. It debuted at the Telluride Film Festival in 2008.

The Los Angeles Times describes Prodigal Sons as follows:

"At the heart of 'Prodigal Sons,' a family drama in the form of a succinct, eloquent personal journal, is a sibling rivalry whose reverberations touch upon the very essence of human identity: what we inherit, what we learn, how we move forward and to what degree we look back. Reed receives a warm reception at her 20-year reunion, but she's on eggshells with one of her classmates, her adopted brother. Since he was left back in preschool, Marc has been the struggler to her high achiever, his behavior problems exacerbated by a brain injury. He's on multiple meds and given to hair-trigger explosions that he says aren't the real him -- even as Kim looks at pictures of herself as a boy and says with certainty, 'That wasn't me."'"[9]

Reed's work on this project earned her much acclaim including a place on Filmmaker Magazine's list of "25 New Faces of Independent Film,"[10] several award nominations including a GLAAD Media Award[11] and Chlotrudis Award for Best Documentary.[12] The film was met with both popular and critical acclaim. It was released in theaters and was among IndieWire's top 10 films of 2008.[13]

Other projects[edit]

  • Appearing as herself, Reed was a character in the documentary Film Hawk in 2017.[14] A film about the life of Bob Hawk, tracing his early years as the gay child of a Methodist minister to his current career as a consultant on some of the most influential independent films of our time.
  • Reed also produced Netflix Original Documentary[15] The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson with director David France and L.A. Teodosio which .[16]


Together with Mark Campbell, Reed wrote the libretto for As One, a chamber opera/song cycle composed by Laura Kaminsky. As One is a coming-of-age story about a transgender woman. As One premiered in September 2014 in partnership with American Opera Projects at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.


Reed was a contributing author to the edited volume Here Come the Brides!,[17] a look at how marriage has changed and includes the stories of women who are challenged the collective cultural interpretations of its meaning. Previously, Kimberly Reed was editor-in-chief of, Digital Video Magazine, the largest magazine covering the digital revolution in film making.[citation needed]

Public appearances and activism[edit]

  • Perhaps her widest audience to date was on The Oprah Winfrey Show where she discussed her journey as a transgender woman, coming out, and the making of Prodigal Sons.[18]
  • Rick Moody wrote about Kimberly's story and her work on Prodigal Sons for Details Magazine in 2009.[19] His review of the film for Magnet Magazine was one of the publication's picks for its best of 2009 list.[20]
  • Kimberly Reed's story was among those included in Andrew Solomon's book, Far From the Tree[21] which explores the challenges that parents face in having extraordinary children and grapples with the idea that experiences of difference are universal.
  • Kimberly Reed has appeared on The Moth, sharing her story:

    "A woman confronts her past, and future, when she is forced to make a trip to her hometown. Kimberly Reed's story continues in her film Prodigal Sons, which won more than a dozen awards and appeared on many Best Films of The Year lists." [22]

  • After the acclaim of Prodigal Sons, Kimberly Reed was invited to again to return to her high school in Helena to deliver the 2015 commencement address.[23]


Reed has been recognized for her work in a number of ways. Awards and honors include:


  1. ^ Smith, Damon. "Kimberly Reed, Prodigal Sons | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  2. ^ "Sundance '18: Kimberly Reed shines light on "Dark Money"". Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  3. ^ "'Dark Money': Film Review | Sundance 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  4. ^ "25 New Faces - Filmmaker Magazine - Summer 2007". Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  5. ^ "Dark Money: A Kimberly Reed Film". Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  6. ^ "Sundance '18: Kimberly Reed shines light on "Dark Money"". Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  7. ^ Harvey, Dennis (2018-04-04). "Film Review: 'Dark Money'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  8. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (2018-03-01). "PBS Acquires Rights To Sundance Docu 'Dark Money'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  9. ^ "Review: '45365'". Los Angeles Times. 2010-03-19. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  10. ^ "25 New Faces - Filmmaker Magazine - Summer 2007". Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  11. ^ "GLAAD Media Awards Nominees". GLAAD. 2011-09-09. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  12. ^ "Prodigal Sons". Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  13. ^ Indiewire (2008-12-31). "indieWIRE & Industry Top 10s for 2008". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  14. ^ Garvine, J. J.; Parquet, Tai (2017-03-01), Film Hawk, Robert Hawk, Kevin Smith, Edward Burns, retrieved 2018-04-09
  15. ^ "The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson | Netflix Official Site". Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  16. ^ "L.A. Teodosio". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  17. ^ Bilger, Audrey; Kort, Michele (2012-03-06). Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage. Da Capo Press. ISBN 9781580054508.
  18. ^ "Transgender Transition". Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  19. ^ "Kimberly Reed's Amazing MTF Story". Burroughs Adding Machine. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  20. ^ "Best Of 2009, Guest Editors: Rick Moody On "Prodigal Sons" - Magnet Magazine". Magnet Magazine. 2010-01-03. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  21. ^ "Far from the Tree | Andrew Solomon". Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  22. ^ The Moth (2011-11-10), The Moth Presents Kimberly Reed: Life Flight, retrieved 2018-04-08
  23. ^ ProdigalSonsFilm (2015-06-19), Kimberly Reed's amazing commencement speech video - transgender filmmaker, retrieved 2018-04-08
  24. ^ "Kimberly Reed". New Day Films. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  25. ^ "2011 - The 2017 Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking". The 2017 Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking. 2016-10-12. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  26. ^ "Movies: Best LGBT Characters of the Film Year - Towleroad". Towleroad. 2010-12-23. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  27. ^ "New York Foundation for the Arts". Retrieved 2018-04-08.

External links[edit]