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Ricki Lake & Abby Epstein

Producers - The Business of Being Born

From acting and producing, to dancing her way into the hearts of television audiences, Emmy Award winning Host Ricki Lake is a pop culture icon who has built a career on her graciously candid sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature.

Ricki Lake’s legacy and perhaps her greatest love is her role as an independent filmmaker. Her award-winning documentary The Business of Being Born debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007. Lake worked closely with filmmaker Abby Epstein on the project, which resonated with audiences, striking up a conversation about a subject that is sometimes considered taboo. Declared a film that ‘should be seen by every pregnant woman in America’, it has also inspired a rise in homebirth rates and an increase in midwife practices. Lake is again collaborating with Abby Epstein and they are currently in production on two documentaries; Sweetening The Pill, about hormonal birth control and Weed The People, about medicinal cannabis. Both films are slated for late 2015 release. Lake competed on the 13th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” where she partnered with three-time champion Derek Hough, making it to the finals. She recently performed with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. At the age of 24, Lake entered the living rooms of millions of television viewers with her daily talk show, “The Ricki Lake Show”. After 11 successful seasons, “The Ricki Lake Show” wrapped in 2005. Lake returned in 2012, and won the Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. The world first met Lake in 1988 as Tracy Turnblad in John Waters’ film Hairspray. Her additional film credits include Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Working Girl, Last Exit To Brooklyn, and Mrs. Winterbourne. Television credits include “Babycakes”, “China Beach”, “The King of Queens”, “Matters of Life & Dating”, and “Loving Leah”. Abby Epstein produced and directed the celebrated documentary The Business of Being Born, with her longtime producing partner, Ricki Lake. Heralded as a “must-see for every pregnant woman,” The Business of Being Born premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival where it was named among “Best of the Fest” by New York Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. The Business of Being Born was released theatrically in 2008 and had its broadcast premiere on Showtime. The success of the film inspired Abby and Ricki’s book Your Best Birth, which was published by Hachette. Their follow-up DVD series More Business of Being Born featuring Cindy Crawford, Alanis Morissette, Gisele Bundchen and Christy Turlington was released in 2011. Abby made her film directing debut at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival with the documentary, Until the Violence Stops, featuring Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler, Salma Hayek and Rosie Perez. The film played at the Miami, Santa Barbara, Maui and Locarno Film Festivals and won the Audience Award at the Amnesty International Film Festival in Vancouver. Until the Violence Stops premiered on Lifetime Television and received an Emmy and a Gracie Allen Award. Under their joint venture BOBB Films, Abby and Ricki served as Executive Producers of the 2014 documentary Breastmilk and are in production on two new films: Weed the People and Sweetening the Pill. Prior to her film work Abby directed theater, helming National Tours and international premieres of RENT and “The Vagina Monologues.”

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