Ross Kauffman


Ross Kauffman, Filmmaker

Classes taught:
Documentary Masters

Ross Kauffman is the Academy Award®-winning filmmaker of the feature documentary BORN INTO BROTHELS. 

In 2014, Ross directed E-TEAM (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), a documentary about four intrepid human rights investigators. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and garnered Kauffman the Best Cinematography Award for a Documentary Feature. His latest feature documentary, TIGERLAND, debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast by the Discovery Channel in over 180 countries. 

In 2009, he served as Executive Producer on the documentary feature IN A DREAM (directed by Jeremiah Zagar), which was short-listed for the Academy Awards. He also worked as Consulting Producer on POSTERGIRL, a documentary short nominated for the Academy Award in 2011.  

Ross recently completed his first scripted short film. Starring Katie Holmes, BOY BOY GIRL GIRL is a dark comedy about a gay couple trying to adopt from a pregnant meth addict and her abusive girlfriend. He is currently developing a full-length scripted feature based on the story.

Ross also specializes in short form documentary film and socially conscious branded content for clients as diverse as Apple, GE and Toyota. In 2013 he directed FIRE WITH FIRE, a 3-minute short film about an oncology unit as they attempt to develop a cure for leukemia using a disabled form of the HIV virus.  The film went viral collecting over 20 million hits and has been shown around the world, spreading word about this revolutionary new treatment and in the process, helping raise billions of dollars for cancer research. He is currently in production on a documentary feature based on the short, entitled TRIAL BY FIRE.

In addition to teaching at SVA's MFA Social Documentary Film program, Ross has lectured at high schools and universities worldwide.

Faculty News view all

SocDoc at SXSW Festival 2020
February 13, 2020

SocDoc at SXSW Festival 2020

Winter is nearly behind us which means its time to kick off the 2020 festival season! 

SocDoc has a strong showing at South By Southwest this year. So if you' Read More
Camera, Sound & Budgeting Winter Weekend Workshops
January 15, 2020

Camera, Sound & Budgeting Winter Weekend Workshops

Interested in improving your documentary skills? Here are five workshops which can give you a whole range of skills to explore the wonderland of documentary. Whatever your professional background, these small classes will provide targeted and hands-o Read More
Sundance 2020: Alumni films at the festival!
January 14, 2020

Sundance 2020: Alumni films at the festival!

The SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2020 has announced their line up, which includes seven SocDoc titles!

In the US Documentary Competition, three of the sixteen selected features have SocDoc Alumni and Faculty on crew:
Read More
DOC NYC 2019 - SocDoc in Abundance!
October 21, 2019

DOC NYC 2019 - SocDoc in Abundance!

We are thrilled to see so many SocDoc filmmakers a part of this year’s DOC NYC line-up! DOC NYC, America's largeset documentary festival, is entering it's tenth year, November 6-15, 2019. We are proud long-time supporters of the festiva Read More