Erika Cohn

Director/Producer |
Pronouns: she/her

Erika Cohn is a Peabody, Emmy and DGA Award-winning filmmaker who Variety recognized as one of 2017’s top documentary filmmakers to watch and was featured in DOC NYC’s 2019 “40 Under 40.” Most recently, Erika completed THE JUDGE, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated film about the first woman judge appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a courts, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2018 Independent Lens series. She co-directed/produced, IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST, an Emmy award-winning, feature documentary about young Pacific Islander men pursuing their dreams of playing professional football, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2016 Independent Lens series.

Erika grew up attending the Sundance Film Festival as a native Utahn, where she first began her career. She studied at Chapman University (California) and Hebrew University (Jerusalem) and has degrees in Film Production, Middle East Studies, and Acting Performance. In 2013, Erika founded Idle Wild Films, Inc., which has released three feature documentaries and produced numerous branded content and commercial spots, including Gatorade’s “Win from Within” series, for which she received a 2016 Webby award nomination. She is currently developing her feature narrative debut and will be releasing her third feature-length documentary, BELLY OF THE BEAST, in 2020. Erika is represented by APA.

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

Race Flicks Panel (Q&A)

Join filmmakers of our Race Flicks films for a Q&A session.

  • All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk - Angela Tucker (Director/Producer)
  • Belly of the Beast - Erika Cohn (Director/Producer)
  • Standing Above the Clouds - Jalena Keane-Lee (Director/Producer)
  • Stateless (Apátrida) - Michèle Stephenson (Director)
  • The Passing On - Nathan Clarke (Director), Lana Garland (Producer)
  • Through the Night - Loira Limbal (Director/Producer)
  • While I Breathe I Hope - Xuan Vu (Producer/Editor)
Moderator(s): Hannah Hearn Speakers: Jalena Keane-Lee, Xuan Vu, Nathan Clarke, Lana Garland, Erika Cohn, Michèle Stephenson, Angela Tucker, Loira Limbal

Belly of the Beast

When a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer discover a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons, they wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. With a growing team of investigators inside prison working with colleagues on the outside, they uncover a series of statewide crimes - from inadequate health care to sexual assault to coercive sterilizations - primarily targeting women of color. This shocking legal drama captured over 7-years features extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people, demanding attention to a shameful and ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in the United States.

Directed/Produced by Erika Cohn; Produced by Angela Tucker, Christen Marquez, and Nicole Docta

Speakers: Erika Cohn, Angela Tucker, Christen Marquez, Nicole Docta