Rebecca Richman Cohen is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School. Her work has been broadcast on public television, HBO, Al Jazeera, and the New York Times website. Between trips to Sierra Leone, she has been adjunct faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), American University’s Human Rights Institute and, most recently, Columbia University. In 2010, Rebecca was profiled in Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” as an “up-and-comer poised to shape the next generation of independent film.” She is also a 2012–2013 Soros Justice Fellow and a 2015-2016 fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

Rebecca’s directorial debut and ASF grant winner, WAR DON DON (HBO), won the special jury prize at the SXSW film festival and went on to be nominated for two Emmys. Her second feature documentary, CODE OF THE WEST, premiered at SXSW in 2012, won the CINE Golden Eagle and went on to screen at numerous film festivals around the world. Her most recent documentary short, DEFENDING GIDEON can be seen here.

Winning Project: War Don Don


In the heart of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, United Nations soldiers guard a heavily fortified building known as the “special court.” Inside, Issa Sesay awaits his trial. Prosecutors say Sesay is a war criminal, guilty of heinous crimes against humanity. His defenders say he is a reluctant fighter who protected civilians and played a crucial role in bringing peace to Sierra Leone. With unprecedented access to prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims, and, from behind bars, Sesay himself, WAR DON DON puts international justice on trial for the world to see — finding that in some cases the past is not just painful, it is also opaque.

War Don Don trailer:

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