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

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
Fall 2020 Info Sessions
October 15, 2019

Fall 2020 Info Sessions

Ready to incite change and amplify the compelling stories you find in the world? Our graduate documentary film program sharpens your artistic voice. Read More
SocDoc Faculty Films Airing Now!
October 09, 2019

SocDoc Faculty Films Airing Now!

SVA MFA Documentary Faculty prides itself on the fact that our entire faculty are working filmmakers. And, they are busy! Here’s a rundown of just some of our faculty’s recent films. Click the links to watch the films & find out more! Read More
9th Annual Thesis Showcase Films
September 24, 2019

9th Annual Thesis Showcase Films

Celebrate the graduates of School of VISUAL ARTS MFA Social Documentary Film with the 9th Annual Thesis Showcase. We are proud to celebrate GROUP 9, the class of 2019! Here we share their work-in-progress thesis films, which inspire and a Read More