Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
|Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi|
|Born||1979/1980 (age 38–39)|
E. Chai Vasarhelyi
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (born c. 1979/1980) is a documentary filmmaker.
Early life and education
Vasarhelyi grew up in New York City. She is the daughter of Marina Vasarhelyi, a college administrator, and Miklos Vasarhelyi, a college professor.
Vasarhelyi 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.
Vasarhelyi's films as a director include the highest grossing independent documentary film of 2015, Meru (Oscars Shortlist 2016; Sundance Audience Award 2015); the upcoming Incorruptible (Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award 2016); Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love (Oscilloscope, 2009), which premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals; A Normal Life (Tribeca Film Festival, Best Documentary, 2003) and Touba (SXSW, Special Jury Prize Best Cinematography, 2013).
Vasarhelyi has received grants from the Sundance Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Bertha Britdoc, the William and Mary Greve Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts.
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.
Vasarhelyi married Jimmy Chin, a photographer for National Geographic and a professional skier and climber, on June 1, 2013. Their daughter, Marina, was born on September 25, 2013 and their son, James, was born on December 7, 2015. Vasarhelyi lives in New York City with her family.
- 2003: Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary Feature for A Normal Life
- 2008: Middle East International Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love
- 2008: International Documentary Association Pare Lorentz Award (nominee) for Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love
- 2008: Bahamas International Film Festival Audience Award for Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love
- 2008: Bahamas International Film Festival Spirit of Freedom Award for Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love
- 2008: DC International Film Festival Audience Award for Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love
- 2008: São Paulo International Film Festival Audience Award for Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love
- 2008: Nashville Film Festival Music of Impact Award for Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love
- Toronto International Film Festival Special Presentation for Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love
- 2013: SXSW Special Jury Prize for Best Cinematography for Touba
- 2015: Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award Winner for Incorruptible
- 2015: Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Award for Best Feature Documentary for Incorruptible
- 2015: One World Film Festival Václav Havel Jury Award for Incorruptible
- 2015: Oscar Shortlist for Best Documentary Feature for Meru
- 2015: Sundance Audience Award Winner for Meru
- 2015: Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Documentary for Meru
- 2015: DGA Award Nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for Meru
- 2015: PGA Award Nomination for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures for Meru
- 2015: Cinema Eye Honors Audience Choice Prize Winner for Meru
- 2015: Cinema Eye Honors Award Winner for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for Meru
- 2015: Cinema Eye Honors Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Production for Meru
- 2015: Cinema Eye Honors Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score for Meru
- 2015: The New York Times, Critics' Pick for Meru
- 2016: Oscar's Shortlist for Meru
- 2003: A Normal Life
- 2008: Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love
- 2013: Touba
- 2015: Incorruptible
- 2015: Meru
- A Mountaineer in Manhattan
- Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2009
- THE TREATMENT/Elvis Mitchell: Chai Vasarhelyi interview, July 8, 2009
- Elle.com interview with Chai Vasarhelyi, July 1, 2009
- New York Magazine May 10, 2009