What drives a man to surf down an avalanche of 100 feet of water? It’s a question Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning director/producer Rory Kennedy explores in her portrait of legendary surfer Laird Hamilton, which will premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
“Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton” includes incredible cinematography of Hamilton’s death-defying surfing, but the film is also an intimate look at the life of the man who became the legend. It’s a film that forced Kennedy into a wide array of shooting circumstances, requiring different techniques and equipment to capture the surfer’s story.
Kennedy is at Sundance for the film’s premiere and will be stopping by the Canon Creative Studio on Main Street in Park City to talk with IndieWire about shooting her latest film, which you can watch on Facebook Live.
Click here to stream the live discussion at 6:30pm ET (4:30pm Mountain Time).
Rory Kennedy’s films often deal with some of the world’s most pressing issues—poverty, political corruption, domestic abuse, drug addition, human rights, and mental illness. Kennedy has made more than 30 highly acclaimed documentaries. Her films have appeared on HBO, PBS, Lifetime Television, A&E, Court TV, The Oxygen Network and TLC.
In 2014, Kennedy made the Academy Award-nominated “Last Days in Vietnam,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and went into wide theatrical release in the fall of that year. At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, she premiered “Ethel,” a feature-length documentary chronicling the extraordinary life of her mother Ethel Kennedy, wife of Robert F. Kennedy. The film was nominated for 5 Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 2011, Kennedy produced “Killing in the Name,” which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short. In 2009, she Executive Produced “Street Fight,” which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. In 2007, her film “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib” premiered at Sundance and went on to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special.
Kennedy is a Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. A graduate of Brown University, she majored in Women’s Studies. Along with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus, she is co-founder of Moxie Firecracker Film in New York and Los Angeles.
Editor’s Note: This event is part of the Indiewire and Canon U.S.A. partnership at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, where we celebrate cinematography at the Canon Creative Studio on Main Street.