The Filmmaker

Marilyn Ness

Marilyn Ness is a two-time Emmy Award-winning documentary producer. She founded Necessary Films in 2005, directing short films for non-profits and developing documentaries including BAD BLOOD and GENOME: The Future Is Now. Prior to that, Ness spent four years as a producer for director Ric Burns, collaborating on four award-winning PBS films: Ansel Adams; The Center of the World; Andy Warhol; and Eugene O’Neill.  Ness’s other credits include films for TLC, Court TV, and National Geographic, as well as films for the PBS series American Experience and the theatrical feature The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg.   She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Necessary Films

After years of producing films for high-profile, big-budget companies and less well-known, smaller budget productions, Marilyn opened her own production company, Necessary Films, in 2005.  Necessary Films accepts commissions from non-profits, foundations, and educational institutions and develops original programming for television and theatrical release including BAD BLOOD and GENOME: The Future Is Now (currently in production).

Necessary Films’ debut production, Changing Lives, explores the journey of two teens using writing to rise above the stigma of growing up in foster care. (Produced for Youth Communication.) Finding the delicate balance between protecting our national security and protecting our civil liberties in the midst of the war on terror is at the heart of Stop the Abuse of Power (produced for the ACLU). Shortly after we completed Setting the Stage, a fundraising film for the Kaufman Center, a non-profit music and theater arts community organization in New York City. The Holleys: An American History offers a rare look at five generations of Americans – from the earliest days of the American Revolution through the Steel Age in America – and the impact one family can have on the growth of a nation.  She has been commissioned to complete a 50th Anniversary film for the World Federation of Hemophilia in 2012.