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[VIRTUAL] Athlete A: A Panel Conversation with Filmmakers and Journalists

Athlete A follows a team of reporters from The Indianapolis Star as they investigate claims of abuse at USA Gymnastics, one of the nation’s most prominent Olympic organizations. Two years later, an Olympic doctor is behind bars, the U.S. Congress is demanding answers, and hundreds of survivors are speaking out. Equal parts devastating and inspiring, the film reveals the culture of cruelty that was allowed to thrive within elite-level gymnastics, the attorney fighting the institutions, and most importantly the brave athletes who refuse to be silenced, fought the system, and triumphed. The film is currently available on Netflix. 

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Bonnie Cohen headshotBonni Cohen (Director) has produced and directed an array of award-winning films. Most recently, Cohen co-directed Athlete A with her film partner, Jon Shenk. Athlete A was selected for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and is a Netflix Original. Prior to that she co-directed An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which was selected to be the opening night film of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, shortlisted for the 2018 Academy Awards, and nominated for a 2018 BAFTA Award for Best Documentary. In 2016, Cohen co-directed the Peabody Award-winning film Audrie & Daisy, which premiered in competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up as a Netflix Original film. In addition to her directing work, Cohen served as producer on The Island President, winner of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice Award. Her work as producer and director on The Rape of Europa earned her a Producers Guild of America Award and Writers Guild of America Award nomination and was shortlisted for the Academy Awards. In addition, Cohen produced Jon Else’s Sundance film, Wonders Are Many and together with Else co-directed Inside Guantanamo, which was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Documentary in 2009. Cohen also executive produced 3.5 Minutes and Art and Craft, films that were shortlisted for the Academy Awards in 2015. Together with Lisa Chanoff, Cohen is the cofounder of the Catapult Film Fund.

Jon Shenk headshotJon Shenk (Director) has directed and photographed many award-winning films. Most recently, Shenk co-directed Athlete A with his film partner, Bonni Cohen. Athlete A was selected for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and is a Netflix Original. Shenk also co-directed and photographed An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which was selected to be the opening night film of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, shortlisted for the 2018 Academy Awards, and nominated for a 2018 BAFTA Award for Best Documentary. In 2016, Shenk co-directed and photographed the Peabody Award-winning film Audrie & Daisy, which premiered in competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up as a Netflix Original film. In 2011, Shenk directed The Island President, winner of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice Award
and the International Documentary Association’s Pare Lorentz Award. Shenk was also awarded the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards for directing Lost Boys of Sudan. Shenk was the director of photography for the 2008 Academy Award-winning Smile Pinki, and he won an Emmy Award for Blame Somebody Else in 2007.

During a 40-year news career, Steve Berta has led investigations on a wide range of topics including government waste, corrupt business practices, voter suppression, child abuse, elder care, housing policy, USA gymnastics, law enforcement, environment and the captive deer industry. Berta began his career as a community journalist in Colorado and California, and has produced national award-winning work at the Indianapolis Star and the Akron Beacon Journal. 

Tim Evans headshotTim Evans is an investigative reporter at The Indianapolis Star and member of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. In addition to working with the IndyStar investigative team that uncovered widespread sexual abuse in gymnastics and the crimes of Larry Nassar, Evans heads IndyStar Call for Action. The free consumer helpline has saved or recovered more than $1.5 million for Hoosiers since 2016. His work has been recognized with dozens of state and national awards, including the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for his reporting on children’s issues, Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Tom Renner Award, the Missouri Honor Medal from the Missouri School of Journalism, and Indiana Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists. Evans and his wife, the Rev. Jennifer Evans, live in Brownsburg and are parents of an adult son, Morgan Evans.

Marisa Kwiatkowski headshotMarisa Kwiatkowski is an investigative reporter for USA TODAY. She handles investigations relating to social services and welfare issues, including child abuse and neglect, poverty, elder abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, and access to mental health services.

Miki Turner headshotMiki Turner is currently an assistant professor of professional practice at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California (USC). An award-winning photojournalist, Turner spent more than 35 years working in the media industry, specializing in print, television, radio, and web production. Her work has been published in more than 100 magazines and newspapers, and her work has been exhibited in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Los Angeles, and Hampton, VA. She has also curated exhibitions at USC. Turner is the author of two books: the bestselling journey to the woman i’ve come to love and tomorrow. She was one of the prize-winning photographers in the 2015 Florence Biennale in Florence, Italy.

This program is generously supported by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

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