May 11th, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!
Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!

Northern Pacific Railway postcard for Mother's Day 1916 Photo: Wikimedia Commons
This Sunday, May 13th, is Mother’s Day, and motherhood will be celebrated worldwide.

The above words are the opening lines of the poem Mother’s Day Proclamation written by the abolitionist, social activist and poet Julia Ward Howe in 1870.

She wrote this declaration after seeing some of the worst effects of war from the American Civil War and then the Franco-Prussian war. She called on women to come together across national lines to find peaceful resolutions to conflicts.

What Howe wanted to call “Mother’s Day for Peace" was not formally recognized during her lifetime, but her work was a key influence to the first national Mother’s Day, declared in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson. Learn more about the history of Mother’s Day including how it is celebrated around the world by clicking here »

Leymah at St. Peter's Lutheran Church on Mother's Day 2007 in Monrovia
Pictured above is a still from the film showing Leymah Gbowee at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Monrovia at the Mother’s Day ceremony in 2007.
Happy Mother's Day
Principal photography for Pray the Devil Back to Hell began on Mother’s Day in Monrovia in May of 2007, which makes this very special day even more meaningful for us at Fork Films.

We wish you a happy and peaceful Mother’s Day!

Leymah Gbowee on Taylor conviction

From Pray the Devil Back to Hell: In 2003, Leymah Gbowee presents the womens’ position statement to Charles Taylor (seated on couch in background). Image copyright © Jonathan Sahn, may not be reproduced without permission

"When the guilty verdict was handed down, I walked outside and saw a rainbow encircling the sun. Everyone in Monrovia could see it. It was a hot day, 80 or 90 degrees. I don’t remember seeing any raindrops fall. I thought, this is a sign."
- Leymah Gbowee, quote from April 30th Newseek article

In a historic verdict on April 26, 2012, an international tribunal found former president of Liberia Charles Taylor guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes (committed in Sierra Leone), including murder, rape, slavery and use of child soldiers. Click here to read the judgment summary, transcript, and press release »

Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee has embraced the challenge of working to heal and rebuild a battered Liberia. Her comments on the verdict and the work she has ahead of her are in the April 30th Newsweek article as told to Abigail Pesta, “A Dictator, Vanquished. Read it here  »

Women, War & Peace Updates

RECENT EVENTS: Awards and Festivals

Women, War & Peace was awarded two Overseas Press Club Awards this year. On April 25th the series won both the Edward R. Murrow Award for documentaries and the Robert Spiers Benjamin Award for the best reporting from Latin America for its segment on the guerrilla war in Colombia.

Women, War & Peace accepts the Television Academy Honors 2012
The Television Academy Honors 2012
Pictured from left to right:
Gini Reticker, Abigail E. Disney, Pamela Hogan and Nina Chaudry

On May 2nd the series was honored at the 5th Annual Television Academy Honors. Read the Variety write up about the awards ceremony and click here to watch the acceptance speech.

I Came To Testify screened at the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival in New York on May 5th. Producer Pamela Hogan attended the screening and took part in a Q&A following the film. The festival is an annual event, which features contemporary Bosnian Herzegovinian cinematography and films with Bosnia and Herzegovina as their theme.


The Gracies

Women, War & Peace will be bestowed with two Gracie Awards, one in the outstanding series categories and one in the outstanding producer category. The awards are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media at ceremonies in Hollywood on May 22-23, 2012.
Watch Women, War & Peace:
*Please note that streaming online is only available in the U.S.

Abigail E. Disney public appearances

Secretary Hillary Clinton holds up the NYWF Century Award with Abigail E. Disney
May 9, 2012 - Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 25th annual 2012 Celebrating Women Breakfast on May 10, 2012 in New York City, sponsored by The New York Women’s Foundation.

Abigail E. Disney presented the Century Award to Secretary Clinton in what ABC News called a “glowing, yet humorous introduction of Clinton.” (Read the article here.) Secretary Clinton honored her late mother, saying “I was always struck at how despite a life that was much more difficult than anything I’ve ever experienced – abandonment and abuse and just really unfortunate kinds of early experiences – my mother had a resilience and a commitment to her family that she worked hard on every single day.”

Watch the introduction and speech or read the transcript by clicking here »

Abigail Disney at EMU commencement. Photo by Jon Styer
Photo by Jon Styer
Abigail also recently addressed thousands of college graduates at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) with a commencement speech highlighting the need for a greater role for women in politics, especially with peace negotiations.

She cited Julia Ward Howe and a United Nations study. Read more about her speech on »

On May 20th, Abigail will deliver a speech entitled, “What’s Peace got to Do with Me?” at Mary Baldwin College.

Fork Films updates
RETURN poster
Catch RETURN, the incredible feature debut from director Liza Johnson, now available on demand!

When Kelli returns home from war, she expected to settle back into her life with her husband and kids. Instead, she finds herself lost in a world that no longer feels familiar or makes any sense. Linda Cardellini delivers a tour de force performance, leading an all-star cast that also includes John Slattery and Michael Shannon.

RETURN is now available on:

Sexy Baby
A documentary about sexiness & the cyber age

SEXY BABY filmmakers, Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, have started the spring off with a bang! The film premiered to a sold out crowd at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. IndieWire said the film is "harrowing, graphic and poignant — essential viewing for everyone living in a post-Internet age."

Sexy Baby continues on the festival circuit. To find out about upcoming screenings check out their website at

The Iran Job

THE IRAN JOB's filmmakers have been hard at work after running one of Kickstarter’s most successful campaigns of all time.

They will have its world premiere at the LA Film Fest on June 15th in the Documentary Competition category. Read more about the festival here or visit their official website at

This Is How I Roll
A story of men who want to hit like girls.

THIS IS HOW I ROLL, a film that poses questions about how conflicting ideas about gender influence our perceptions of sports, athletes, ownership and entitlement through the unique lens of men’s roller derby.

The film will premiere this month at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival. For more information about the project visit the website

December 7th, 2011

Leymah Gbowee to accept Nobel Peace Prize this week in Oslo and Stockholm

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

The Nobel laureates will participate in an extensive program of events in Oslo and Stockholm this week, and will receive their Nobel Prizes during award ceremonies attended by royalty, dignitaries and celebrities from around the world on December 10th.


Watch the LIVE WEBCAST on December 10, 2011 on »

Oslo Award Ceremony @ 1:00 p.m. CET.
Stockholm Award Ceremony @ 4:30 p.m. CET.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell filmmakers and Women, War & Peace co-creators Abigail E. Disney and Gini Reticker will also be attending many of these Nobel events.

For more information about the Nobel Peace Prize, please click here »

Read about Leymah Gbowee and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s newly launched peace initiative by clicking here »

Special Screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell in Oslo Celebrating Leymah Gbowee
Hosted by PRIO (The Peace Research Institute Oslo)

Special Screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell in Oslo Celebrating Leymah Gbowee hosted by PRIO

Time: Friday, 09 Dec 2011, 15:00-17:00
Place: Vika Kino, Ruseløkkvn. 14 (v. Konserthuset), Oslo, NORWAY

Admission is free of charge, however, registration is required on a first come, first serve basis. Please register by clicking here »

Gini Reticker and Abigail E. Disney
A conversation with Gini Reticker and Abigail E. Disney, director and producer of the film, moderated by Helga Hernes of PRIO will follow the screening of the film.

Leymah Gbowee is planning to make an appearance (tentative).

Nobel Peace Prize Medals

Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee is featured in two episodes of the PBS series Women, War & Peace: Pray the Devil Back to Hell and War Redefined.

Women, War & Peace aired on PBS in October and November of 2011. Viewers in the US can now watch the complete series online at For those outside of the US, we are working to get the series on the air and online all around the world. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates!

Women, War & Peace is a co-production of Fork Films and THIRTEEN with executive producers Abigail Disney, Pamela Hogan and Gini Reticker.
More information:

Watch the the live webcast on December 10, 2011 and learn more about the Nobel Peace Prize events and awards at »

Follow Abigail E. Disney on Twitter @abigaildisney

Check out Mighty Be Our Powers, Leymah Gbowee’s memoir.

Visit the the official website for Pray the Devil Back to Hell »

Watch complete episodes of Women, War & Peace »
October 17th, 2011


Women War & Peace: Tuesdays on PBS


Director Gini Reticker and Producer Abigail E. Disney spotlight the astonishing story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war.

On Twitter, follow @womenwarpeace and #wwplive for commentary with filmmaker, Gini Reticker, during the broadcast.

Oct 18 - Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Oct 25 -Peace Unveiled

Nov 1 - The War We Are Living

Nov 8 -War Redefined

Click here to get a free Viewing Party Guide!

Like Women, War & Peace on Facebook

Follow Women, War & Peace on Twitter

Follow Abigail Disney on Twitter
September 23rd, 2011

Leymah’s Book Now Available!

Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, the memoir by Leymah Gbowee (with Carol Mithers) published by the Daily Beast’s Beast Books is now available everywhere!

Purchase the book on Barnes & Noble by clicking here » Purchase the book on by clicking here »

Check out this recent article from the New York Times about her book tour: Unusual Benefactor Finances Book Tour

Selected reviews:

Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women
“…a beautifully written narrative.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 1984
“Mighty Be Our Powers reminds us that even in the worst of times, humanity’s best can shine through.”

Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook:
“One of the most inspirational and powerful books I’ve ever read. The story of one woman’s struggle against the worst and what she can teach all of us about finding the courage and strength to change the world.”

Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III Pastor, The Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York:
“An engrossing, fluently written story that anyone who cares about changing the world has to read.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia:
“Leymah bore witness to the worst of humanity and helped bring Liberia out of the dark. Her memoir is a captivating narrative that will stand in history as testament to the power of women, faith and the spirit of our great country”

STARRED Kirkus Review:
“Searing war-torn memories from a visionary African peacekeeper and women’s-rights activist….Gbowee stands responsible for what began as a tireless vocal demonstration and soon escalated to a standoff on the Presidential Mansion steps demanding peace. This course of action facilitated the war’s end in 2003 and the election of Africa’s first female president, and ended the author’s personal struggles with alcohol. With commanding charity, Gbowee celebrates Liberia’s eight years of peace and continues teaching young women about the power of activism. A patriotic chronicle reverberant with valor and perseverance.”

July 12th, 2011

Peace Building Trips and Updates!

International Women’s Summit – Zurich, Switzerland

The World YWCA is hosting its fourth International Women’s Summit (IWS) under the theme “Women Creating a Safe World”. The IWS will be held in Zurich , Switzerland , on July 12-13, 2011 as part of its 27th World Council.

Abigail Disney will be speaking at the summit during the session on Women, Peace and Security on July 13th. During the week there will also be a screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell as well as a viewing of the trailer for the new series Women, War & Peace!

For more information about The World YWCA please visit their website at

Rescuers Conference – Sarajevo, Bosnia

Abigail will be the keynote speaker at the Rescuers Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia on Friday. She will be talking about her experiences while working on Women, War & Peace and how filmmaking can affect social change. The talk is especially geared towards inspiring youth to become involved in filmmaking and photography.

A screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell and Q&A with students following the film will also be held.

May 12th, 2011

Three Days of Non-Violence

The Newark Peace Education Summit is a three day conference focusing on peacemaking practices from around the world. It features panels and workshops with His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Somaly Mam, Nobel Laureates and peace advocates from a wide cross section of cultures, disciplines and perspectives.

Peace activist Leymah Gbowee will be a member of the “Peace in the World Panel” the morning of May 15th.

The summit will explore the programs, policies, and methods used by communities to establish peace, why and how they work, and how to replicate them in America and around the world.

Event Details
All Panel Discussions will be held at NJPAC
(New Jersey Performing Arts Center)

The Peace Workshops will be held at NJPAC and the nearby venues: Robert Treat Hotel, Newark Museum and NJ Historical Society

Newark, New Jersey
May 13th - 15th

For more information please click here to visit the website!

As part of the summit’s Peace Activities there will be a screening of

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

A panel with Abigail Disney and Leymah Gbowee will follow the screening.

A preview of the new series Women, War & Peace will also be shown!

Friday, May 13th

Robert Treat Hotel
50 Park Place, Newark NJ

7:00pm - 9:00pm

For more information please visit the The Newark Peace Education Summit website by clicking here!

Fork Films LLC is a film production company based in New York City founded in 2007 dedicated to the development and production of films that move, inspire and enlighten.

In the belief that film has a unique capacity to shed light, evoke compassion and stir action, Fork Films invests in and creates media that make an important social contribution, with a particular emphasis on material that has been overlooked, people who tend to be underestimated, and stories that have been left out of the mainstream historical record.