Molly O’Brien is the Chief Operations Officer of Fork Films, recently joining the company in a newly created position. As COO, O’Brien works closely with Abigail Disney, Gini Reticker, and the entire Fork Films team to provide strategic leadership and oversight to operations, productions, funding, and business development. O’Brien brings with her over two decades of experience at the intersection of non-profit and corporate interests, organizing independent initiatives, collaborating with documentary filmmakers and creating branded content for diverse clients such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Zumba Fitness, and The World Food Programme.
Before joining Fork Films, O’Brien was the lead organizing producer for Indie Caucus, a national group of independent filmmakers who support the mission of public media. In this role, O’Brien provided strategic guidance in targeting public media channels in major markets to ensure diversified documentary programming. In 2015, Indie Caucus played a pivotal role in keeping two iconic documentary series, Independent Lens and POV, on key PBS channels.
Prior to Indie Caucus, O’Brien was the founding producer of Sundance Institute’s Catalyst Forum, an annual convening of creative investors and independent filmmakers. Since 2013, Catalyst has raised millions for independent filmmakers and connected investors with the creative teams behind the year’s most highly anticipated independent narrative and documentary film projects.
O’Brien started her career training as assistant camera with Ken Burns (Lewis & Clark, Frank Lloyd Wright), and has since produced film and television with some of the most acclaimed documentary directors in the industry including: RJ Cutler (American High), Lauren Greenfield (Queen of Versailles), Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon (various films for PBS, HBO, National Geographic), Robert Greenwald (Sierra Club Chronicles), and Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe (The Bad Kids, special jury prize winner Sundance 2016).
O’Brien won a Primetime Emmy Award for Producing Outstanding Non-Fiction Program in 2000 (American High, FOX), was nominated for the Primetime Emmy in 2001 (American High) and made a 2010 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow (Cesar's Last Fast, PIVOT/Univision/Netflix). Additionally, she was the Supervising Producer for the branded documentary short #Selfie, which won a Clio Image Award in 2014. O’Brien’s first documentary film, A Pig With Hair, was shortlisted for the Academy Awards in 1998.
An adjunct professor of documentary filmmaking at Chapman University, O’Brien is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her beloved Chihuahua and family.