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

10th Annual SocDoc Thesis Showcase April 1-4, 2021
March 22, 2021

10th Annual SocDoc Thesis Showcase April 1-4, 2021

Join Us to Celebrate the Films of SVA's MFA Social Documentary Film  Class of 2020 Celebrating SocDoc's tenth class of graduates, Showcase Screenings will take place entirely online April 1-4, and are available worldw Read More
SocDoc at DOC NYC 2020
October 16, 2020

SocDoc at DOC NYC 2020

SocDoc has a strong showing with several films from our clever faculty and alumni, as well as our annual student showcase. Read More
Alumni New Films News Round-Up
October 15, 2020

Alumni New Films News Round-Up

A lot of our smart & talented alumni are out in the world with their films at pitch markets, festivals, and streaming - take a look! Read More

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're in Austin in March, check out these alumni-directed films Read More