Ric Esther Bienstock is an acclaimed Emmy Award-winning Canadian filmmaker best known for her investigative documentaries. From sex trafficking to the human organ trade, from corruption in the world of Boxing to Ebola, Bienstock’s hallmark is gaining unprecedented access to major international stories. She has produced and directed for most major broadcasters around the world and her films have screened at over 80 festivals worldwide.
In 2020 Bienstock was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for “her commitment to raising awareness of global events and conflicts through film”. This is Canada’s highest civilian honour. In February 2014, she was awarded the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism. This Award is presented to a Broadcast Journalist for an exceptional body of work and a significant contribution to the international profile of Canadian television journalism. Bienstock is the ONLY female independent producer to ever receive this award.
In 2014, Bienstock was selected by a jury of journalists specializing in the arts, culture and entertainment to be honoured at the Toronto International Film Festival with the Birks Diamond Tribute to the Year’s Women in Film as one of Canada’s leading women filmmakers.
Bienstock is currently producing a 6-part documentary series entitled “Enslaved” featuring and executive produced by Samuel L. Jackson.
With a passion for social issues, her films, often years in the making, tackle difficult subjects with a cinematic and insightful eye. As a result, she has been asked to speak before governments, international organizations and law enforcement the world over. Bienstock gave a TEDx talk about her body of work (entitled “How Ebola, Porn and the Human Organ Trade Led Me to the Ordinary”). She has also given talks at numerous Universities including Princeton, UCLA, Columbia, the New York Academy of Medicine, among others.
Bienstock is the first Canadian to ever win two back-to-back Edward R. Murrow Awards for the films Sex Slaves and Tales From the Organ Trade both of which she directed, produced and wrote.
Her directing work has garnered dozens of other prestigious awards, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, a Dupont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, a British Broadcast Award, a Distinguished Achievement award from the IDA in Los Angeles, 2 Hot Docs Awards, a Scripps-Howard Award and 2 Amnesty International Awards, among many others.
She speaks 3 languages, none of which her children listen to.