Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi is a documentary filmmaker best known for the film Free Solo, which won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film profiled Alex Honnold and his free solo climb of El Capitan in June 2017.
Vasarhelyi began her film career as an 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.
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 United States and internationally. The film premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals 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.
In 2013, Vasarhelyi completed Touba, a documentary on the annual Mouride pilgrimage, the Grand Magaal in Touba, Senegal. It premiered at SXSW 2013, where it won the Special Jury Prize for Best Cinematography.
She returned to Senegal to document the presidential elections of 2012, in the film Incorruptible (formerly An African Spring), the story of Senegalese democracy, which won the Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award in 2015. In 2015,
One of Vasarhelyi's films as a director include the highest grossing independent documentary film of 2015, Meru (Oscars Shortlist 2016; Sundance Audience Award 2015)
Vasarhelyi and Chin's 2018 film Free Solo won the People's Choice Award: Documentaries at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. The film has received critical claim as both a riveting documentary and a profound story of human endeavor.Free Solo won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Vasarhelyi has directed a New York Times Op Doc, an episode for Netflix’s non-fiction design series ABSTRACT, and two episodes for ESPN’s non-fiction series Future of Sports.
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.
She was selected as a 2013 Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, named one of Filmmaker magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2005and received an Achievement Award from Creative Visions foundation in 2008.
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Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi for your event is $30,000 - $75,000. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi for an upcoming event.
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