Ellen Goosenberg Kent

Ellen Goosenberg Kent

Most viewers became familiar with documentary filmmaker Ellen Goosenberg Kent when her film "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" (2014) won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject in 2015, inspiring the film's producer, Dana Heinz Perry, to give a stirring speech on public awareness of suicide. Kent was already a veteran of the documentary world by this point, and had considerable experience as a filmmaker with the subject matter. After graduating from Temple University with a degree in communications, Kent began a career in New York producing documentaries geared toward children. Her films like "Going, Going, Almost Gone! Animals in Danger" (HBO, 1995) and "How Do You Spell God?" (HBO, 1996) won Emmy Awards and made Kent a respected name in the realm of nonfiction filmmaking. In 2007, Kent directed the documentary "Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq" (HBO, 2007) about the struggles faced by combat veterans after surviving massive injuries. The project sparked an interest in Kent that would inspire more of her films, such as the acclaimed "Wartorn: 1986-2010" (HBO, 2010), in which she and producers conducted an exhaustive research project, probing historical records and personal documents to illustrate the prevalence of PTSD amongst veterans who fought long before the diagnosis existed. The experience provided a wealth of background knowledge for Kent to apply to "Crisis Hotline," which examined the role that workers at a crisis hotline play in attempting to talk individual veterans down from the brink of suicide.