Natalie Reuss is an award-winning filmmaker whose oeuvre spans the range of documentary forms. Born and raised in America’s heartland, she went on to live her life as a political activist central to a variety of political groups, media organizations and cultural projects on both coasts. Reuss is known for her role as executive producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary ASYLUM, a groundbreaking film illuminating the issues facing women who seek political asylum. The film tells the story of Baba, a young woman who flees her homeland in Ghana to escape forced marriage and female genital mutilation, only to find herself shackled here inside an INS prison. THE ANDREYEVS OF BRIGHTON BEACH, one of Reuss’s early films, tells the story of a young Russian couple who left the former Soviet Union during the period known as perestroika and settled in New York’s Brighton Beach. Émigrés on the border, the pair explores the meaning of freedom lived in two radically different societies. Reuss also has many PBS credits. Recently she was a producer of the stunning two-hour, Emmy-nominated AMERICAN MASTERS film ATLANTIC RECORDS: THE HOUSE THAT AHMET BUILT about Ahmet Ertegun who for sixty years headed up Atlantic Records producing greats like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and the Rolling Stones. PROUD TO BE A GIRL and OUT OF THE DARKNESS: WOMEN AND DEPRESSION garnered Emmys. Five other of her documentaries focusing on women won Gracie Allen Awards.
Currently Reuss is in production on CIVITA, her poetic, observational film about an ancient Italian hill town – documenting its memories and culture before they are lost to 21st Century postcard city commodification. Reuss has joined Portside as a moderator covering the film beat.