Abigail Disney to receive Courage in Journalism Award

Abigail Disney has produced dozens of socially conscious documentaries

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    Abigail E. Disney appears at the New York Women's Foundation breakfast in New York in 2012.
    (Marion Curtis/Starpix via AP, File)
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The International Women's Media Foundation will present its annual Leadership Honor to filmmaker Abigail Disney.

The organization announced Wednesday that Disney will be recognized at the Courage in Journalism Awards in New York on Oct. 21.

Disney has produced dozens of socially conscious documentaries and recently directed her first: "The Armor of Light," about a minister preaching against gun violence.

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The film tracks Reverend Rob Schenck, anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, who breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life

Her first documentary film, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," was about women in Liberia, and was made with Emmy Award-winning director Gini Reticker. In 2011, she made "Women, War & Peace," a 5-part PBS series that looked at the women in wartime around the world.

Disney is the grandneice of Walt Disney. When some criticized the 2013 film "Saving Mr. Banks" as a too-rosy portrayal of Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks), Abigail Disney wrote on Facebook:

 

I know he was a man of his times and I can forgive him, but Saving Mr Banks was a brazen attempt by the company to make a saint out of the man. A devil he was not. Nor an angel...

And if you are going to have mixed feelings about a family member (and we all do) take it from me, you really need to be as honest as possible about those feelings, or else you are going to lead yourself into many a blind alley in life!! ... Anti-Semite? Check. Misogynist? OF COURSE!! Racist? C'mon he made a film (Jungle Book) about how you should stay 'with your own kind' at the height of the fight over segregation! As if the 'King of the Jungle' number wasn't proof enough!! How much more information do you need? But damn, he was hella good at making films and his work has made billions of people happy. There's no denying it. So there ya go. Mixed feelings up the wazoo."

 The Courage in Journalism Awards honor female journalists who demonstrate particular bravery, "facing and surviving danger to uncover the truth, they raise the bar for reporting under duress," says the organization's website. Other honorees at the 2015 ceremony are Mwape Kumwenda of Muvi Television in Zambia, Daily Beast and Newsweek contributor Anna Nemtsova in Russia, and freelance reporter Lourdes Ramirez in Honduras.

Retired Associated Press special correspondent Linda Deutsch will receive a lifetime achievement award.

 
 
 

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