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Abigail Disney’s Fork Films, the production company and funder that has backed titles including The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales, Crip Camp and The Tale, has closed its doors, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
A handful of staff positions (fewer than 10) at the company, which put an emphasis on impact-driven documentary projects, have been terminated as a result of the closure. Disney first informed the staff of her decision in February, with the intention of shutting down entirely by September. Variety was the first to report the news.
“After much reflection, Abigail decided to close Fork Films,” a representative said in a statement. “Several Fork Films’ staff members will continue working on The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales, its release and impact campaign in the coming months. She plans to continue making films.”
Founded in 2007 by Disney, the granddaughter of Walt Disney Company co-founder Roy O. Disney, and doc filmmaker Gini Reticker (Missing in Brooks County, Cameraperson), the company has produced several titles (including the recent documentary about the Disney company, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales, which Disney co-directed, and Phyllis Schlafly doc On Account of Sex) and offered grants to many others. Beneficiaries of Fork Films grants have included Oscar nominees Crip Camp, Strong Island and The Invisible War and Emmy nominees 1971 and Hot Girls Wanted.
Last month Disney self-distributed 2022’s The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales, a critique of The Walt Disney Co.’s treatment of its workers and economic inequality in the U.S., after suggesting publicly that the subject matter made the film a hard sell to major distributors. When asked about the film’s distribution options in January, Disney told THR, “I knew this was a risk from the beginning, and I just say, you make the best film you can make and then hope for the best.”
This year, Disney publicly backed away from a film that she executive produced, Sundance entry Jihad Rehab (now called The UnRedacted), after some critics raised ethics and representation concerns about the film. Disney is no longer listed on the film’s IMDb entry.
Level Forward, Disney’s entertainment company focused on titles that could inspire social change (it has backed Slave Play, What the Constitution Means to Me and The Assistant, among others), will continue as is, a representative says.
Rebecca Keegan contributed reporting.
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