Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi is an award-winning film director and producer with Hungarian, Chinese and Brazilian roots. Vasarhelyi directed Meru (Mountainfilm 2015), a documentary about the never-before-climbed Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, with her husband and co-cinematographer Jimmy Chin. The duo also co-directed Free Solo (2019), an unflinching portrait of climber Alex Honnold as he attempts one of the most audacious feats in climbing, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Additionally, their film The Rescue (2021) received BAFTA and DGA- Documentary nominations. Chin and Vasarhelyi's most recent film Wild Life (Mountainfilm 2023) chronicles Kris Tompkin's story of life, love and conservation. Her first film, A Normal Life, about young Kosovars who came of age during the recent war, won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2003. Her second film, Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love, chronicles Senegalese icon Youssou N’Dour and his Grammy Award-winning album Egypt 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. Vasarhelyi holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Princeton University.

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