Tracy Droz Tragos is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize 2014 for her moving documentary Rich Hill. A beautiful and powerful film, Rich Hill puts a human face on rural poverty in a respectful and artistic way. Tracy explores the subject through the stories of three adolescent boys coming of age in small-town Missouri. The film’s other honors include Best Film at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, Best Director Award at the Sarasota Film Festival, Best Heartland film at the Kansas City Film Festival, and Best Generation Next at the Documentary Edge Film Festival. The film was broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens, and was released theatrically and digitally throughout the US and internationally.
Tracy’s feature documentary Abortion: Stories Women Tell premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and features the stories of women on every side of the debate. Her remarkably non-political approach adds a human and personal element to a deeply divisive debate and gives voice to women, on both sides of the issue, who are affected most. Tracy’s first documentary, Be Good, Smile Pretty, is a powerful film about the profound and complicated feelings of loss caused by the deaths of American servicemen in Vietnam, some thirty-five years later as it explores the emotional impact of the loss of Tracy’s own father in that war. The film aired on PBS’s Independent Lens winning the 2004 Emmy for Best Documentary, The Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and a Cine Golden Eagle Award. It continues to be used today by the VA and veteran’s organizations as a tool to support veterans’ processing of grief and their transition home. Tracy also directed Sarah’s Uncertain Path for the New York Times Op-Docs, a short film profiling a pregnant teenager in rural America.
In addition to Tracy’s commissioned work, she is currently in production on two independent documentaries that focus on the challenges facing girls in America from the perspectives of a vulnerable teenage mother and her son in the Midwest and of girls groomed to be leaders at a private school in Brentwood, California. Tracy’s work has received support from the Sundance Institute, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Cinereach, ITVS, and others. She is a Film Independent Documentary Lab and Sundance Lab alumna, participating as both a director and producer, and is part of Sundance’s Women Filmmaking Initiative.