Rory Kennedy's Headshot

Rory Kennedy

- Panelist Blurb

The co-founder and co-president of Moxie Firecracker Films, Inc., Rory Kennedy is one of the nation's most prolific independent documentary filmmakers. Her impressive body of work, which tackles some of our most pressing social concerns including poverty, domestic abuse, drug addiction, human rights, AIDS and mental illness, has garnered numerous awards and been featured on HBO, MTV, The Oxygen Network and PBS. Through her films, Kennedy aims to illuminate larger social issues by telling the stories of everyday people.

Recently, Kennedy directed and produced A Boy's Life, a heartbreaking and dramatic portrait of the troubling forces that have shaped the life of a seven-year-old boy from an impoverished region of Mississippi. Kennedy also directed and produced Pandemic: Facing AIDS, which follows the lives of five people living with AIDS and which ultimately connects audiences with the heartache and triumph of living under the extreme conditions of the disease. Her other films include Epidemic Africa, Fire in Our House, American Hollow, Juvies, The Changing Face of Beauty, Travelers, Different Moms, Healthy Start, The Nazi Officer's Wife, Sixteen and Girlhood.

An eloquent public speaker who embraces film as a vehicle to inspire others to action, Kennedy offers passionate views on a broad range of topics. Whether discussing human rights, the creative process, women and entrepreneurship, or numerous social issues, she provides first-hand insight into the people and stories that are often overlooked in our society, but which desperately need to be addressed.

In addition to her impressive film career, Kennedy is a committed social activist and human rights advocate. She has been a member of the board of directors for a number of non-profit organizations including the Legal Action Center and the Project Return Foundation. She served as chairperson of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation Associate Trustees Program and continues as a member of the board. She was a member of the 1999 Presidential Mission on AIDS in Africa. Kennedy initiated and helped develop the Teacher Transfer Program between the U.S. and Namibia after her work at the Dobra Resettlement Camp. She has also been a member of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Human Rights delegations in South Africa, South Korea, Japan, El Salvador and Poland.

Kennedy is a graduate of Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies.

NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from February 8, 2007.