Austin Film Festival: Ky speaks about directing Sole Survivor (Acquired by CNN FILMS)

Austin Film Festival: Ky speaks about directing Sole Survivor (Acquired by CNN FILMS)





Award winning filmmaker Ky Dickens is best known for her highly acclaimed documentary work and her endless list of questions.

 Ky’s latest film THE CITY THAT SOLD AMERICA (2019, GRAVITAS), is about Chicago’s crucial, yet often-overlooked place in American consumer culture. The film is a sequel to Emmy-award winning Art & Copy. Ky co-wrote the film with Emmy winning producer, Mary Warlick.  Her 2018 film ZERO WEEKS (FREESTYLE), about America’s paid leave crisis, premiered the trailer at the White House Summit on the United State of Women, hosted by Oprah and Michelle Obama.  ZERO WEEKS won five awards on the festival circuit and is being used by state legislatures, businesses and hospitals nationwide to move the needle towards a national paid leave policy.

 Ky’s  2015 documentary hit SOLE SURVIVOR (CNN FILMS), profiled four survivors of otherwise fatal plane crashes. It was named the “Best Feature Film” at the BMA Awards. Ky’s 2009 feature documentary, FISH OUT OF WATER, won four juror prizes and secured international distribution by First Run Features. The film was inducted into the United States Library of Congress in 2011 for its instrumental role in changing the national perspective on LGBTQ human rights. The film has been hailed as a “tool for reconciliation between the church and LGBTQ community.” It was translated into Spanish, Russian, Italian and French Creole and has screened at over 500 churches and universities.

 Ky received the Focus Award for “Achievement in Directing” from Women in Film.  She also received the “Change Maker Award” for influencing social change through art, in Washington DC in 2017, alongside Maxine Waters.

 Ky’s latest project, CRITICAL CONDITION (2019) sponsored by the American Cancer Society, profiles Rural Kansans with no access to health care, debating between saving their lives or spiraling their families into poverty.

 In addition to her feature film work, Ky directs commercials for some of the biggest brands in America. Her clients include Tylenol, Sears, McDonald’s, Koehler, Purina, Huggies, Hallmark, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Wrangler.  Ky is featured on the highly competitive “Free The Bid” list of the top recommended female directors in America.  Ky graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from Vanderbilt University.  She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her family.  

If she won the lottery, she’d still want to be directing and producing. Storytelling, like clean water and Sriracha sauce, are everyday necessities.