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Cynthia  Lowen

Cynthia Lowen

Filmmaker & Poet


Cynthia Lowen is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and award-winning writer whose work uses the power of story to catalyze meaningful change, confronting timely social issues from bullying to online harassment to reproductive rights. Read More >

Cynthia is the director and producer of the feature documentary Battleground, an urgently timely window into the intersection of abortion and politics in America, premiering at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival and streaming on STARZ. Of the film The New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg writes: “I’ve been haunted by a moment from the new documentary Battleground…The documentary is in part a window into how they won.” The film’s impact campaign has collaborated with pro-choice organizations including Abortion Access Front, the ACLU, the American College of OB-GYNs, the Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Planned Parenthood, We Testify and many more working to advance reproductive justice.

Cynthia is also the director and producer of Netizens, a feature documentary distributed by HBO Max about women and online harassment. “Bristling with rightful fury,” says Teen Vogue of the film, Netizens follows three women as they confront digital abuse and strive for justice online. Cynthia spearheaded the Netizens Impact Campaign, working with tech companies and advocacy partners including the Anti-Defamation League, the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, Facebook, Microsoft, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Oculus and others, to develop tools and responses to reduce online harassment and foster constructive digital citizenship.

Cynthia is the 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 critics, Bully was nominated for two Emmys, shortlisted for the Oscars, received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Journalism, and screened at the White House. Cynthia co-created The Bully Project Social Action Campaign, in partnership with organizations, foundations, brands and corporate sponsors, sharing a commitment to ending bullying and transforming society. Partners included Adobe, the American Federation of Teachers, Autism Speaks, BBYO, the Cartoon Network, DoSomething.org, Facing History and Ourselves, GLSEN, JPMorgan Chase, Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Sears, the United Federation of Teachers and many more.

Cynthia is a sought-after speaker both in the U.S. and internationally, delivering keynotes on impact filmmaking, online harassment, reproductive rights and bullying. She has done speaking engagements and keynotes at Microsoft, the ADL, Facebook, Columbia University, New York Law School, UC Irvine School of Law, the Women’s Media Center, George Washington University, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, TEDx, SXSW, IdeaFestival, Open Society Foundations, the Producers Guild and many more. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos


Fox 5: on Netizens and Online Harassment

Speech Topics

BATTLEGROUND: How the Anti-Abortion Movement Overturned Roe

How has the anti-abortion movement been so effective at advancing their goals when they’re vastly outnumbered by the 7 in 10 Americans who support reproductive rights? This question compelled filmmaker Cynthia Lowen to go behind the scenes to investigate the tactics, goals and motivations of the anti-abortion movement, as well as those on the front lines of the fierce fight to maintain access. The result is the acclaimed documentary film BATTLEGROUND (Starz), which depicts the anti-abortion movement as never seen before: politically savvy, targeting the next generation, largely led by women, and willing to go to great lengths to get what they want. In this urgently timely talk, Lowen discusses the takeaways from her film and how reproductive rights are intrinsically linked to the future of our democracy.

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.