SONIA KENNEBECK

Sonia Kennebeck is an award-winning director, producer, writer, and journalist. Her directing credits include critically-acclaimed feature films Reality Winner (SXSW 2021), Enemies of the State (TIFF 2020), and National Bird (Berlinale Special 2016). Her work screened at major festivals and in theaters, and has been widely distributed through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, PBS, Comcast, New York Times OpDocs, and others. Enemies of the State was released by IFC Films in theaters and online, reaching top indie film and documentary in the iTunes charts. The film received outstanding reviews, including in the New York Times (Critic’s Pick) and Los Angeles Times, is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and was nominated for Best Political Documentary of 2021 by Critics Choice Documentary Awards. It is now streaming on Hulu. Sonia’s debut feature about the U.S. drone war, National Bird (executive produced by Wim Wenders and Errol Morris), premiered in the Special Section of the Berlin Film Festival 2016, was selected for Tribeca, Sheffield, and IDFA festivals, and received the prestigious Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize and a 2018 Emmy-nomination for Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary. It was broadcast on PBS and streamed on Netflix. Foreign Policy magazine recognized Sonia as one of 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016, and she was also selected as one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016 by Filmmaker Magazine. She is a 2023 recipient of the Chicken & Egg Award for directors, the 2021 Adrienne Shelly Excellence in Filmmaking Award, and she was on DOC NYC’s 2021 40 Under 40 list. Sonia is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and received grants from most major film foundations, including Sundance Institute, Reva & David Logan Foundation, International Documentary Association, Firelight Media, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and Catapult Film Fund, as well as sponsorships from Canon and Avid. She also directs and produces short films like the NYT Op-Doc From Journalist to Hostage, which has been viewed over 5 million times on YouTube, and a public information video series for the United Nations, Tribeca, and Google/YouTube educating about the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal Zero Hunger. Before Sonia founded her production company, she worked as broadcast news reporter and directed eight television documentaries and more than 50 investigative reports for some of Germany’s most prestigious public television programs, including Tagesschau and Panorama. She is a first-generation college graduate, who worked full time while completing her master’s degree in international affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. Sonia was born in Malaysia, grew up in Germany, is fully bilingual, and spends most of her time in New York.