Tracy Droz Tragos is an award-winning independent filmmaker. Tragos recently completed the film Abortion: Stories Women Tell, which will premiere on HBO. With Rich Hill, Tragos explored rural poverty through the intimate lens of vulnerable adolescents and their families struggling for a foothold. Rich Hill won the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, was released theatrically in over 95 theaters, and opened the 2015 PBS Independent Lens season. Her first film was Be Good, Smile Pretty, a powerful film about the profound and complicated feelings of loss caused by the deaths of American men in Vietnam, some thirty-five years later. The film aired on PBS’s Independent Lens and won the 2004 Emmy for Best Documentary, as well as the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
In addition to her commercial and commissioned work, Tragos is in development on two independent films that focus on the challenges facing young people in America: from the perspective of a vulnerable teenage mother and her son in the Midwest; and kids confronting a broken U.S. educational system. She also is writing a personal hybrid documentary/narrative film about motherhood and ambition.
Tragos’ work has received support from the Sundance Institute, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, ITVS and others. She is a Film Independent Documentary Lab and Sundance Lab alumna, participating as both a director and producer. Last year, Tragos was one of six filmmakers invited to participate in Sundance’s Women Filmmaking Initiative. She has served on the nominating committee of the IDA Awards and the jury for the Gotham Awards and the Cine Golden Eagle Awards. Tragos holds a B.A. in fiction writing from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in screenwriting from USC. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters, ages 10 and 7, as well as a German shepherd and a Chihuahua.