Barbara Rick is president and founder of Out of The Blue Films, Inc., an award-winning independent documentary company officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS for its dedication to the creation of exceptional films that explore, articulate, and celebrate humanity.
A Peabody and Emmy-winning filmmaker and journalist for more than twenty years, Ms. Rick has produced, directed, and written highly acclaimed films and national news broadcasts.
Currently, she is launching a groundbreaking documentary series and interactive initiative examining the causes and consequences of the most corrosive human emotion: ENVY. The project is the recipient of a $250,000 research and development grant from philanthropist Mary Catherine Bunting.
Described as ‘uniquely innovative’ by Julia Cameron, renowned author of The Artist’s Way, Barbara Rick was selected as one of the 2010 ‘People To Watch’ in the April Arts Issue of 201 Magazine.
Ms. Rick’s most recent documentary, Girls of Daraja, celebrates the unique and powerful Daraja Academy in Kenya: the first free secondary school for girls in all of East Africa. Winner of the Jury Prize for Best Short Documentary at the 2010 Lights Camera Help Film Festival, G.O.D. was praised in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Huffington Post, and endorsed by readers of The Nation magazine as one of the Top Ten YouTube videos deserving a wider audience. It is an official selection of the 2011 Santa Cruz Film Festival.
Special screenings of the film have raised more than $100,000 for Daraja Academy, and the film was featured on YouTube —receiving 7000 hits in a month. Barbara Rick’s still photographs of Kenya and the Daraja Academy students, featured in the film, will be presented in an upcoming gallery exhibition to raise additional funds for the school.
Ms. Rick’s 2008 documentary, Road To Ingwavuma (ing-wah-VOOM-ah), chronicles the journey to the heart of post-apartheid South Africa by a delegation of some of America’s most respected artists and their families – Alfre Woodard, Samuel L. Jackson & LaTanya R. Jackson, Carlos Santana, CCH Pounder, Jurnee Smollett, and other members of Artists for a New South Africa. The project’s Executive Producer and Narrator is author & philanthropist, Deborah Santana. Ms. Santana also commissioned the Girls of Daraja project.
Road To Ingwavuma – which features rare footage of President Nelson Mandela with the American delegation – was chosen opening night film at the 2008 Boston International Film Festival, the closing night film at the Creatively Speaking series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and an official selection of the 2008 Mill Valley Film Festival.
Rick’s previous film, In Good Conscience: Sister Jeannine Gramick’s Journey of Faith, is a collaboration with legendary cinematographer Albert Maysles, who describes Ms. Rick as “one of the very best documentary filmmakers I know.” The film’s executive producer is Humanitas prize-winning writer/producer Tom Fontana. (The Philanthropist, Oz, Homicide: Life On The Street, St. Elsewhere)
Funded by generous contributions from Ellen DeGeneres, Susan Sarandon, Trudie Styler, Agnes Gund, Deborah Santana, Tom Fontana, the H. van Ameringen Foundation, the Andrew Goodman Foundation, N. Peter Hamilton and the Aloe Investment Corporation, anonymous and grass roots donors, In Good Conscience premiered in the U.S. at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Independents Night series in New York City, receiving standing ovations there and at numerous film festivals around the world.
The 82-minute feature documentary won awards for ‘Audience Favorite’ and ‘Best Documentary’ at film festivals in Philadelphia and Michigan and ‘Honorable Mention’ at New York’s NewFest. An official selection of the Silverdocs/AFI Discovery Channel Film Festival, the Nashville Film Festival, the Turin International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival and many others, In Good Conscience was honored as the Closing Night Film at Film Out San Diego and The Queer Screen Festival in Sydney, Australia.
In Good Conscience was profiled at length in the Real To Reel segment of PBS’ In The Life program, and in Reflections, the Yale Divinity School Journal, in the article: “Tasting The Wine: The Nun, The Filmmaker and the Risk of Freedom.”
Called a ‘masterpiece’ by two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, In Good Conscience was cited by VARIETY as ‘excellent’ and ‘absorbing’ with ‘enormous charm.’ TimeOutNY said ‘This gripping documentary by Barbara Rick is a must-see.’ The DVD, available at www.ingoodconscience.com, a website created by the filmmaker, won honors from the American Library Association’s Booklist Magazine as one of the TOP TEN Religion/Spirituality Films of 2009.
Catholic Library World writes of In Good Conscience: ‘The film has given many great hope and new reason for living.’
There has been a recent surge in interest around the film and its inclusive message of hope in the wake of the suicide crisis among LGBTQ youth on American college campuses. Filmmaker Barbara Rick and the film’s star, Sister Jeannine Gramick, are conducting screening & panel events around the country at schools such as Yale University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and others to bring the film to the widest possible audience.
Barbara Rick directed, produced and co-wrote the PBS film, SHE SAYS/ Women In News. Rick won a News & Documentary Emmy in the ‘Outstanding Informational Programming-Long Form’ category for that film and was cited as a finalist by the 2002-2003 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia awards jury. SHE SAYS received major funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the Whitehead Foundation, Bill Moyers, and others. Special screenings were sponsored by Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, KCET in Los Angeles, and New York Women In Film & Television. Ms. Rick was also invited to present the film before audiences at the United Nations, the Harvard Club, and many renowned colleges and universities use it and her other films as a teaching tool.
Another documentary production, Sounds Sacred, explores how human beings connect with the spiritual through sound. Sounds Sacred was an official selection of the 2002 Maui Film Festival, 2001 Mill Valley Film Festival, and 2001 Lake Placid Film Forum. Featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the film played before enthusiastic audiences in a brief theatrical run at the storied Red Vic Movie Theatre in San Francisco in January 2003.
Barbara Rick served as a freelance writer/producer/field producer and off-air reporter at ABC News from 1994-2005, where she wrote for the anchors of Good Morning America, World News Now, World News Tonight Saturday & Sunday, and World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Other clients over the years include HBO, Disney Theatrical Productions, National Geographic Television, and CNN. Barbara Rick has appeared as a guest on women’s issues on the ABC News Now Digital Network and she and her films have been featured in scores of newspaper, magazine, and web articles and radio and television spots around the country and the world.
A graduate of Fordham University, Ms. Rick served as political producer and veteran reporter Gabe Pressman’s producer at WNBC-TV. She won a Peabody Award and her second local area Emmy Award for Asylum In The Streets, a documentary on the crisis of New York’s mentally ill homeless. Ms. Rick was one of the youngest recipients of the Peabody in the history of the award. She served as a broadcast producer and writer on all the station’s newscasts.
Ms. Rick has taught journalism courses at New York University, The New School, and William Paterson University. Her articles on the film industry and other subjects have appeared in The International Documentary Association magazine and on the Internet.
An active lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America East, serving on its Committee On Censorship, Ms. Rick is also a member of the International Documentary Association, New York Women In Film & Television, the Independent Feature Project and DocuClub. She also writes feature screenplays and is developing pilots for episodic television and the web.