Also Known As: Chai Vasarhelyi
Biography: Vasarhelyi is an award-winning 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 U.S. 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. Touba, a visceral documentary experience that takes the viewer through each step of the annual Mouride pilgrimage, the Grand Magaal in Touba, Senegal, premiered in early 2013. She returned to Senegal in 2012 to document the heated Presidential elections. Vasarhelyi has received grants from several foundations including the Sundance Documentary Fund, 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 has been featured in numerous publications including, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and New York Magazine. Chai has a B.A. from Princeton University in Comparative Literature.
Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
A Normal Life (2003 – Hugo Berkeley, Chai Vasarhelyi);
Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love (2008);