Amy Berg is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker known for her 2006 award-winning debut documentary feature Deliver Us From Evil. The film tells the true story of Catholic priest Oliver O'Grady, who admitted to having molested and raped approximately 25 children in Northern California between the late 1970s and early 1990s.
Deliver Us From Evil, distributed theatrically by Lionsgate, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and was the recipient of several awards including the WGA Best Documentary, the New York Film Critics Circle Best Documentary. The film also received Best Documentary at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival where it had its world premiere.
Continuing her work to shed light on child sex abuse, Berg also created a 2-part PSA campaign for the RAINN network in 2009 that was used to extend the statute of limitations on sexual abuse in many states. The campaign featured Christina Ricci, Kevin Bacon, Dylan McDermott and Gabriel Union and aired nationwide.
Berg's follow-up project to Deliver Us From Evil was Polarized, one of the spotlight films for Al Gore's Live Earth Campaign. Polarized premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The film explores consumer habits and their contribution to the decline of the planet, illustrated through the lens of a small Inuit village in Northern Alaska, Shishmaref, that is on the verge of collapse due to warmer temperatures and melting permafrost.
Berg also produced Bhutto, a documentary feature that played at Sundance 2010. The film is a serious look at Pakistan and the issues faced as a result of the coup d'état that took Zulfikar Ali Bhutto away from his people and how this affected the country. Bhutto was released theatrically in 2010.
Prior to Deliver Us From Evil, Amy produced documentary segments for CNN Investigations and the CBS News program 30 Minutes of Special Assignment. Her work at CBS News earned her Emmy Awards in 2003 and 2004. Berg's reports delved into a variety of topics, including: sexual assault, women in prison, clergy abuse, battered women, unsafe public playgrounds, poverty, illegal drug dispersion, illicit medical doctors and toxic pollutants. She has also produced stories on important issues relating to parenting, social welfare and innovative science and medical breakthroughs.
Before working at CBS, Berg researched and developed stories for Silver Creek Entertainment, a producer of segments for ABC News. Many aired on Good Morning America, 20/20, and Extra. In addition, she has written numerous articles for the National Organization For Women, the Jewish Journal and a number of monthly and weekly periodicals in America and France.
In 2005, Amy launched Disarming Films to produce long-form documentaries for theatrical release. Her latest documentary feature, West of Memphis, opens in select theaters December 25, 2012. Written and directed by Berg, the film centers around the West Memphis Three: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, who were tried and convicted by the State of Arkansas in 1993 for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Wrongly imprisoned for eighteen years, the three men were eventually brought to justice and released when the documentary's producers, Academy Award winning team Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, financed private investigators and forensic testing in search of the truth. This extraordinary story is supplemented by research, interviews with those involved in the 1993 case and a palpable desire to acknowledge that the true killer of those young Arkansas boys remains free to this day. Amy is currently working on a political documentary that went into production in early 2012.
For her tireless pursuit of uncovering and exposing the truth while setting real change in motion through the medium of film, Amy Berg is receiving TheWIFTS Foundation 2012 Best Documentary Award.