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Bonni Cohen      

Co-Founder and Filmmaker, Actual Films; Co-Founder, Catapult Film Fund

Bonni Cohen is co-founder of Actual Films, making documentaries for theatrical release and broadcasts for PBS, BBC, ARTE, Discovery Channel, Lucasfilm, and Stanford University. She has produced and directed the award-winning films The Island President, Inside Guantanamo, The Rape of Europa,and Wonders Are Many. Cohen executive produced 3.5 Minutes, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and Art and Craft, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. The co-founder of Catapult Film Fund, moving storytelling across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives with funds and mentorship, she has been an adjunct professor at the UC Berkeley Journalism School graduate program in documentary film.

BONNI COHEN runs Actual Films in San Francisco with filmmaker/husband Jon Shenk. For the past sixteen years, they have produced documentaries for theatrical release and primetime national broadcast both in the US and internationally. Bonni produced THE ISLAND PRESIDENT in 2011 which won the Audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival and was featured on PBS’ ‘Independent Lens’. Bonni was nominated for outstanding producer by the PGA that year.

She also produced and directed INSIDE GUANTANAMO, which was nominated for a best documentary feature Emmy, and The RAPE OF EUROPA (2006) which was short-listed for the Academy Awards and nominated for two primetime Emmys. With director Jon Else, she produced WONDERS ARE MANY which had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and its broadcast premiere on PBS.

With Lisa Chanoff, Bonni co-founded the Catapult Film Fund, which supports development of documentary films with funds and mentorship. With Catapult, Bonni executive produced ART AND CRAFT which premiered this year at the Tribeca Film Festival. Catapult has supported recent award-winning films such as E-TEAM, THE OVERNIGHTERS and ANITA. Bonni has been an adjunct professor at the UC Berkeley Graduate Program in Documentary film at the Journalism School.

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