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Cynthia  Lowen

Cynthia Lowen

Filmmaker & Poet


Cynthia Lowen is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. She’s the director and producer of NETIZENS, a feature documentary about three women who are the targets of online harassment, following as they confront digital abuse and strive for equality and justice online. Produced in association with Ruth Ann Harnisch, and with Abigail Disney as executive producer, the film is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival. Read More >

Cynthia is also the co-producer and writer of the acclaimed documentary BULLY, following five kids and families through “a year in the life” of America’s bullying crisis. Lauded by reviewers, BULLY was nominated for two Emmys and awarded the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award for excellence in journalism. Drawing on BULLY’s success, the filmmakers created The BULLY Project Social Action Campaign, a collaborative effort in partnership with multiple organizations, foundations, brands and corporate sponsors, sharing a commitment to ending bullying and transforming society. Featured at several summits on education and school climate, in 2012 BULLY was screened at the White House.  

Cynthia has lectured extensively on filmmaking, and school climate and culture, addressing the Producer’s Guild of America, the Middle School Presidential Inaugural Conference, Ideafestival, Open Society Foundations, New York Women in Film & Television, TEDx, Texas Trailblazer Awards, the Tribeca Film Festival, among others. She has appeared widely on television shows and radio programs to speak on the subject of school climate and bullying prevention.  

Cynthia is also an award-winning poet and winner of the National Poetry Series for her collection "The Cloud That Contained the Lightning." Using the character of J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as the “father of the atomic bomb,” as a jumping-off point, the collection explores the enduring legacy of nuclear weapons. Of these poems, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes writes, “No biographer in 600 pages has come closer to understanding him [Oppenheimer]–and the bomb–than does Cynthia Lowen in these subtle, resonant poems.”  Read Less ^

Speaker Videos


Fox 5: on Netizens and Online Harassment

Speech Topics

The Making of NETIZENS: Three Women Confront the Internet’s Wild West

Director Cynthia Lowen takes us behind the scenes in this illuminating presentation about her timely new film NETIZENS, a feature documentary about women and online harassment. Making its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, NETIZENS depicts three women whose lives are transformed by online harassment, bearing witness as they confront digital abuse and strive for equality and justice online. In this watershed moment for gender equality, Cynthia delves into her process and how this film speaks to the most pressing issues of our day.

Toxic Tweets, Pernicious Posts, Changed School Cultures

School communities can be radically altered with the click of a button—and what happens online rarely stays online. In this powerful and pertinent talk, filmmaker Cynthia Lowen discusses the profound impact social networking sites, apps and digital backchannels have on learning environments, and the ways online harassment and discrimination seep offline. Cynthia explores how schools can constructively address online harassment and prevent digital abuse in their communities.  

Harassment & the Digital Workplace

The internet is a major dimension of our workplaces today and directly relates to our prospects for success. In this illuminating and practical talk, Cynthia discusses how social media platforms, search engines and online activities are entering our offices, and how online harassment can impact morale and production. Cynthia also outlines how employers can recognize when a potential candidate’s digital footprint is a sign of harassment or abuse, and how to respond when employers themselves become the targets of reputation-harming online harassment.