Maro Chermayeff

Department Chair

Maro Chermayeff, Department Chair

Classes taught:
Thesis: The Pitch , Thesis Review and Presentation

Maro Chermayeff is an Emmy and Peabody winning documentary filmmaker whose numerous films and television programs have toured the world in prestigious festivals, played theatrically, and been broadcast widely—on HBO, CNN Originals, PBS, A&E, The Travel Channel, Bravo, Discovery, Arte France/Germany, France 2, BBC, Sky Arts, and Channel Four UK—garnering scores of honors, awards, and significant critical acclaim.

Recent works from her company include: SOUNDBREAKING: STORIES FROM THE CUTTING EDGE OF RECORDED MUSIC. Created with legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin, the series explores the extraordinary impact of recorded music on the modern world; the show was nominated for an Emmy and a Grammy in 2018. Maro also produced and directed SOUNDTRACKS: SONGS THAT DEFINED HISTORY, with executive producer Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson which looks at pivotal moments in history through the lens of popular music. 
Maro and her producing partner Jeff Dupre founded the companies Show of Force, Force Film Foundation and Show of Force Social Good in 2006. Projects include the series  HALF THE SKY: TURNING OPPRESSION INTO OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN WORLDWIDE and A PATH APPEARS, and the upcoming feature INVISIBLE AMERICA (WT). All of these are based on the work of Pulitzer-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and include human rights advocates George Clooney, Mia and Ronan Farrow, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Eva Mendes, Olivia Wilde, Gabrielle Union, Eva Longoria, Alfre Woodard, Blake Lively and many more artists and advocates. Hailed by critics as “thoroughly edifying and handsomely produced,” Emmy Honors, Gracie, and Realscreen Award winner “Half the Sky” is a “delicate mixture of heartbreak and inspiration [that] is sure to move those who watch.”
In 2017, Show of Force launched the multi-film initiative HUMANITY ON THE MOVE, which looks at many facets in the global refugee crisis though the lens of families struggling to survive. This project’s films include the award-winning feature documentary SKY & GROUND and short docs LOS COMANDOS, and TOWARDS THE NORTH. Show of Force also recently completed DROP TO ZERO, a feature documentary on the global eradication of polio, narrated by Donald Sutherland and to be released in 2019.
Maro’s other memorable credits include producing the award-winning feature documentary MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT and KEHINDE WILEY, AN ECONOMY OF GRACE. She is the producer and co-director of MANN v. FORD and the producer and director of THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS, both for HBO. She is co-creator, executive producer and director of the Emmy Award-winning ten-hour series CARRIER; producer & director of the PBS series CIRCUS and FRONTIER HOUSE, and of the feature documentary JUILLIARD for the Emmy Award-winning series American Masters.
Prior to co-founding Show Of Force, Maro was an independent producer, director and editor, and a senior programming executive for A&E Television Network. Maro is the founder and department chair of the MFA Social Documentary Film program at the School Of Visual Arts in New York City and a former faculty member of NYU’s Graduate School of Film and Television. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (OSCAR), The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (EMMY) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

Faculty News view all

IDA Spotlight: SocDoc Faculty Tips for New Projects
July 26, 2019

IDA Spotlight: SocDoc Faculty Tips for New Projects

One of our best jobs here at SVA's MFA in Social Documentary Program is advising our graduate students on their film ideas, helping them make their concepts strong. The idea stage can be invigorating, but successful films happen with thoughtful planning. We surveyed our esteemed faculty for suggestions on what filmmakers should consider as they embark on a new project. Read More
Now Streaming: SocDoc Alumni
May 29, 2019

Now Streaming: SocDoc Alumni

A great many SocDoc alumni films are recently streaming into the comfort of your home these days - so we compiled a list to make a TV party easy for you! Check out the work our alumni are making, and tell a friend. Read More
Spring Festivals!
April 04, 2019

Spring Festivals!

Festival season is ramping up and our prolific SocDoc alum are screening at major festivals across North America. Here’s a rundown of where SocDocers and their films are at over the next few months:  Read More
2019 Alumni Editing Fellowship
March 29, 2019

2019 Alumni Editing Fellowship

Graduates of SVA’s MFA Documentary program (Groups 1 through 8) are invited to apply for the second annual SocDoc Summer Editing Fellowship with their documentary features in post-production.

Acknowledging that emerging documenta Read More