Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Elizabeth Chai 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.
She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. Vasarhelyi lives with her husband and two children 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.
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.
Films and Awards
- Oscar Shortlist for Best Documentary Feature
- Sundance Audience Award Winner
- Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Documentary
- DGA Award Nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary
- PGA Award Nomination for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
- Cinema Eye Honors Audience Choice Prize Winner
- Cinema Eye Honors Award Winner for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
- Cinema Eye Honors Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Production
- Cinema Eye Honors Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
- New York Times Critics' Pick
- Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
- Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Award for Best Feature Documentary
- One World Film Festival Václav Havel Jury Award
- SXSW Special Jury Prize for Best Cinematography
Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love (2008)
- Middle East International Film Festival Special Jury Prize
- International Documentary Association Pare Lorentz Award Nomination
- Bahamas International Film Festival Audience Award
- Bahamas International Film Festival Spirit of Freedom Award
- DC International Film Festival Audience Award
- São Paulo International Film Festival Audience Award
- Nashville Film Festival Music of Impact Award
- Toronto International Film Festival Special Presentation
A Normal Life (2003)
- Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary Feature
- Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi at the Internet Movie Database
- Production Studio
- Meru Website
- Incorruptible Website
- 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