Ruth Ann Harnisch


Ruth Ann Harnisch uses her resources as a philanthropist and an impact investor to help create social change through storytelling.

As a member of Impact Partners, Ruth Ann is one of the producers of the 2018 Academy Award-winning documentary ICARUS. She was an EP of UNREST, shortlisted in the same Oscar category.

The founder and president of The Harnisch Foundation, a partner in HarHar Productions, a lead investor in Superlative Films, and a SuperBacker on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, Ruth Ann has also invested through the Sundance Institute’s Catalyst events, Good Pitch, Seed&Spark, and other financing platforms. The Harnisch Foundation was a presenting sponsor of Sundance’s first Women’s Catalyst film financing event.

Ruth Ann is an enthusiastic fan as well as an Executive Producer of COLUMBUS, one of the 2018 Ebertfest selections.  This honor, along with the number of Best of 2017 lists naming COLUMBUS, plus multiple Gotham Award and Film Independent Spirit nominations, has solidified her belief in her ability to spot a winner, even on an iPhone4 screen at 5 a.m.

Other producing credits include THE HUNTING GROUND, TRAPPED, HOT GIRLS WANTED, AUDRIE & DAISY, THE EAGLE HUNTRESS, ROLL RED ROLL, and NIGHT COMES ON, in addition to other films by, for, and about women.

TheHF is a supporter of The Sundance Institute Women Filmmakers Initiative and provides funding for professional coaching for the WFI Fellows. As a certified professional coach herself, Ruth Ann numbers among her clients dozens of filmmakers with whom she works on their relationship to money. 

TheHF created the original FunnyGirls™ curriculum, designed to teach leadership skills to girls in grades 3rd – 8th through improv and movement. Five pilot programs are underway with social justice forward partners. Ruth Ann has performed in improv events at TED, the 99U Conference, the Upright Citizens Brigade, and will be happy to join you in something improvised at Ebertfest.

Ruth Ann is a trained crisis counselor who has been a volunteer at the Crisis Text Line since 2015, so contact her (or text 741741 for CTL) if you’re having an Ebertfest meltdown.