Academy Award–Nominated and Emmy Award–winning Producer/Director Liz Garbus is one of America’s most accomplished and prolific documentary filmmakers. Her most recent film, Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009, and was broadcast on HBO in June.
In 1998, Garbs achieved international public and critical acclaim for her Academy Award–nominated film The Farm: Angola, USA. Made in collaboration with Jonathan Stack, The Farm was the result of a three-year relationship that the filmmakers fostered with Louisiana Corrections Officials and with six men confined at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. In addition to its Oscar nod, The Farm won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, two Emmy Awards, the National Film Critics Best Documentary of the Year, and other awards and festival recoginition.
Following The Farm‘s success, Garbus co-founded Moxie Firecracker Films with producer/director Rory Kennedy. With Garbus directing and Kennedy producing, the two made the feature-length documentary Girlhood, which tells the story of two young girls convicted of violent crimes, and was called “one of the most important films of the year” by LA Weekly. In 2002, Garbus’s feature documentary The Execution of Wanda Jean premiered at the Sundance film festival and aired later that year on HBO’s America Undercover series. In 2005, Garbus and Kennedy were Executive Producers of Street Fight (aired on PBS), which was nominated for the Academy Award in the Best Documentary category and won a Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award. In 2006 Moxie Firecracker collaborated with Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing) to produce Yo Soy Boricua, Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas! for IFC. Garbus and Kennedy’s credits also include Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, which premiered at Sundance and won the Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special of 2007, and Coma for HBO Documentary Films, which aired July 2007. Garbus has also produced and directed multiple television specials for networks including Lifetime, MTV, A&E, Discovery, Court TV, Sundance Channel, Oxygen, and many others.
Garbus graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1992 and is a Fellow of the Open Society’s Center on Crime, Communities, and Culture.