Who are Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi? The lesbian directors behind Making a Murderer
Netflix’s Making a Murderer returns, offering an update on Steven Avery’s bid to overturn his murder conviction, but who are the two women behind the show?
It took Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi 10 years to collect and edit all the footage that eventually found a home on Netflix as the groundbreaking episodic documentary Making a Murderer.
In the time following the series premiere in 2015, the pair have frequently found themselves in the media, conducting interviews and generally responding to newfound public interest in the incarceration of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey.
But less is known about the pair themselves: where they met, their professional background and how they funded their decade-long passion project.
Who are Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi?
Demos and Ricciardi met whilst both were studying for post-graduate degrees in film at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. They had been dating for two years when, in 2005, they read an article about Steven Avery’s case in The New York Times. As is well documented, they travelled down to Wisconsin the following month and began filming.
Prior to moving into documentary film-making, Ricciardi had worked as a lawyer and Demos had worked as an electrician on a number of film projects. In particular, Demos worked on the set of films Pollock (2000) and You Can Count on Me (2000).
Since Making a Murderer was largely self-funded, neither of them could entirely give up their previous lines of work. The pair managed to win sponsorship from the New York Foundation for the Arts after a year of working on the film, which gave them easier access to funds and donations, but due to the ongoing nature of the project, they both had to do other work in order to raise production money.
Ricciardi worked as an attorney while Demos again worked on film sets, notably working as an electrician on the Angelina Jolie film Salt (2010) and the comedy Get Him to the Greek (2010).