Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi is an award-winning film director and producer. Her first film A Normal Life won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2003. Her second film, Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love, was released in theaters in the US and internationally, and won numerous awards including the Special Jury Prize at the Middle East International Film Festival in 2008 and a nomination for the Pare Lorentz Award at the 2009 International Documentary Association Awards. Her third film, Touba, a visceral documentary experience that takes the viewer through each step of the annual Mouride pilgrimage, the Grand Magaal in Touba, Senegal, premiered at SXSW 2013 where it won the Special Jury Prize for Best Cinematography. She returned to Senegal in 2012 to document the heated Presidential elections. An African Spring, the intense and unflinching story of Senegalese democracy is currently in post-production. She is also currently working on two American stories: Little Troopers, a film about the impact of American soldiers’ deployments on their families left behind; and Father School a glimpse into the Korean American movement towards becoming more in-touch fathers and husbands. Vasarhelyi has received grants from several foundations including the Sundance Documentary Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, BRITDOC, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the William and Mary Greve Foundation. Vasarhelyi was selected as a 2013 Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, named one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2005  and received an Achievement Award from Creative Visions foundation in 2008. She lives in New York City.
Vasarhelyi is a graduate of The Brearley School and Princeton University where she majored in Comparative Literature. She worked as assistant to director Mike Nichols on the film Closer and has worked extensively with Emmy-Award winning cinematographer Scott Duncan documenting events such as The Dakar Rally.
- Tribeca Film Festival
- Middle East International Film Festival
- International Documentary Association Awards 2009
- Filmmaker Magazine