Maria is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and writer based in Brooklyn, NY, and has been working in film, video, journalism and radio across three continents for over 20 years.
In 2011 her film Sarabah, about Senegalese rapper-activist Sister Fa, premiered at the Movies That Matter Film Festival and won the Golden Butterfly Award for Human Rights Filmmaking. Since then, the movie (which she also shot and co-produced) has played at over 40 festivals internationally, and has been broadcast in the U.S. and Europe. It won the Cine Golden Eagle Award in Fall 2011 for Independent TV Documentary.
In television and movies, she has worked as a Producer and Field Producer for several programs including the hybrid docu-reality-music video short program Shade: Queens of NYC for Fusion TV; work as Field Producer on several segments for National Geographic's flagship series Explorer, including a segment with Peter Sagal on male enhancement surgeries in Turkey and Germany; and work as Shooter/Producer on ABC News’s critically acclaimed 8-part documentary series, NY Med.
She has worked as a journalist across various media, producing video in Italy with the New York Times during the February 2013 national elections, and with PassBlue in 2015 on migrant assistance organizations. With PassBlue, she also contributes articles and essays on international development and travel.
Maria has also worked in the art world, most recently managing an ambitious public art program in Times Square for the Times Square Alliance. From 2009-2012, she produced the Obie Award winning hybrid installation by David Levine, Habit, which premiered at the Luminato Festival in Toronto in June 2011 and had its New York premiere in September 2012.
She teaches film-making at all levels and has done so with many great institutions: Reel Works Teen Film-making in Brooklyn (where she continues to volunteer as a mentor); the International Film & Video Workshops in Rockport, Maine; Boston Film and Video Foundation; and Bilgi Üniversitesi in Istanbul. She has developed coursework for a class on critical reading of social documentary. With Reel Works, she was Senior Producer for WNET’s Over Here, directed by six Brooklyn teenagers.