Liz Garbus

Liz Garbusabu_ghraib_small

During her varied career, Garbus has produced documentaries on a wide array of subjects including the US criminal & juvenile  justice system, the death penalty, the entertainment industry, marriage, prostitution, teenagers living on society’s fringes and the Holocaust. In 1998, she achieved international public and critical acclaim with her Academy Award-nominated film, The Farm: Angola, USA. Made in collaboration with Jonathan Stack, The Farm is 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.

the_farmIn January 1998, Garbus co-founded Moxie Firecracker, Inc., an independent documentary production company, with director Rory Kennedy. Within the past six years, Moxie Firecracker has produced numerous feature-length documentary films, with several more in production.

Garbus has most recently completed directing and producing Comafor HBO. Coma is a critically acclaimed feature length exploration of traumatic brain injury, the L.A. Times called it “unspeakably touching”. Coma made its broadcast premiere on HBO in June of 2007. In 2007 Garbus also produced and directed the Brain Imagingepisode of the cutting edge Addiction series for HBO. In 2006 Garbus produced of Ghosts Of Abu Ghraib, directed by Rory Kennedy, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on HBO. In 2005 Garbus and Rory Kennedy Executive Produced Street Fight, which aired on PBS/POV in 2005. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, won an IDA Award, the Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award, and many other festivals. She is currently in production on a new feature-length documentary for HBO.


XIARA’S SONG: Seven-year- old Xiara tries to come to grips with the fact that her father will be in prison for the next ten years. (40 minutes, Cinemax, Summer 2005)

GIRLHOOD: The story of 2 girls, both convicted of violent crimes at a young age, and their path to redemption. A story of crime and its consequences, transgression and healing, and the corrosive power and saving grace of family. (90 minutes, Wellspring, TLC, Discovery Times 2004)

THE NAZI OFFICER’S WIFE: The extraordinary story of Edith Hahn, a Jew from Vienna, who managed to survive the war by obtaining false papers and, ultimately, marrying a Nazi. (100 minutes, Seventh Art Releasing, A&E, June, 2003)

THE EXECUTION OF WANDA JEAN: In 1988, Wanda Jean Allen shot and killed her lesbian lover outside an Oklahoma City police station. On January 11, 2001, after a twelve-year stay on death row, she became the first black woman executed in America in the last fifty years. Documentary Competition, Sundance Film Festival, 2002, NAMIC Vision Award nominee, 2003. (90 minutes, HBO, March 2002)

UP IN ARMS: A film about people who have lost family members to gun violence (30 minutes, October 2000)

THE TRAVELERS: Follows a group of wayward, homeless young adults as they hop freight trains across America, in search of an elusive, dangerous brand of freedom. (60 minutes, MTV, April 2000)

JUVIES: A unique American coming-of-age story, the film follows three troubled young men on their journey through Baltimore’s juvenile justice system. (90 minutes, A&E Television, March 2000)

IT’S RIGHT NOW: Four impressionistic short films about the Sundance Film Festival. (Sundance Channel, January 1999)

THE FARM: Set in America’s most infamous and largest maximum-security prison, THE FARM tells an extraordinary story of life and death in prison. Academy Award Nominee, 1998. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Best Documentary 1998: New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Assoc. (90 minutes, Seventh Art Releasing, A&E, September 1998)

THE SECRET LIFE OF A SERIAL KILLER: This film tells the story of Herb Baumeister, a man who by day was a loving husband and father, and by night, a serial killer. (60 minutes, A&E, 1997)

FINAL JUDGEMENT: In Liz Garbus’ directorial debut, for which she was acknowledged with an Emmy nomination, FINAL JUDGEMENT follows Antonio James’ road to execution and examines the profound impact it had on the lives of others. (60 minutes, The Discovery Channel, September, 1996)


INDIAN POINT: IMAGINING THE UNIMAGINABLE: Takes a “what if” look at the catastrophic consequences of a radioactive release at the Indian Point Nuclear Energy Center, located 35 miles north of midtown Manhattan. (45 minutes, HBO, 2004)

A BOY’S LIFE: The story of a young boy and his family in Eupora, Mississippi. (80 minutes, HBO, 2004)

PANDEMIC: FACING AIDS: A feature-length film and five-part series about the current health crisis in India, Thailand, Uganda, Brazil, and Russia. (120 minutes, HBO, June, 2003)

TOGETHER: STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: A film featuring four personal accounts of women who ended the violence in their lives. (45 minutes, Lifetime, Feb. 2003)

EPIDEMIC AFRICA: A short educational film that examines the impact of the AIDS epidemic on women and children in Africa. (15 minutes, White House Office of National AIDS Policy, ABC Nightly News and NBC News, 1999)

IN SEARCH OF THE HAPPY ENDING: Directed by Garry Marshall, this film examines marriage in the 20th century. (85 minutes, Showtime & Disney, 1999)


HEALTHY START: Explores the state of prenatal care for women in the United States. (60 minutes, Lifetime Television, February 2001)

ALL KINDS OF FAMILIES: An intimate look at alternative families in America. (60 minutes, Lifetime Television, January 2001)

DIFFERENT MOMS: Chronicles the experiences of three sets of mentally handicapped parents, all of whom are negotiating the joys and pitfalls of raising normally developed children. (60 minutes, Lifetime Television, May 1999)


STREET FIGHT: Goes behind the scenes into the rough and tumble world of inner-city politics. It follows a 33-year-old African-American named Cory Booker as he takes on the entire NJ political machine in a David and Goliath attempt to become the mayor of Newark, NJ. (PBS/POV, 2005)