Sonia Kennebeck is an award-winning director, producer, and investigative journalist. Her most recent feature documentary UNITED STATES VS. REALITY WINNER premiered at SXSW 2021, and her documentary thriller ENEMIES OF THE STATE was one of only 50 films in the official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival 2020.
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.
Kennebeck’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 released in select theaters in the US, Europe, and Australia, was broadcast on PBS and ARD German TV, and streamed on Netflix.
Foreign Policy magazine recognized Sonia Kennebeck 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 Pictures Arts and Sciences and received grants from most major film funders, 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 recent public information video series for the United Nations, Tribeca, and YouTube educating about the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal Zero Hunger. Kennebeck runs the production company Codebreaker Films and is currently developing a narrative series and writing a screenplay.
Before she became an independent filmmaker, Kennebeck directed eight television documentaries and more than 50 investigative reports for German public television. 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 Kennebeck was born in Malaysia, grew up in Germany, and spends much of her time in New York.