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Brigid Maher Professor Film and Media Arts

Brigid Maher
(202) 885-2664
SOC | Film & Media Arts
McKinley Building 239
Tuesdays 9:30 to 11am (via zoom)
Wednesdays 9:30 to 11:30am (via zoom)
Email for Professor Maher for link
Additional Positions at AU
Senior Fellow, Community Voice Lab
Director, Anacostia Youth Media Festival
MFA Radio/Television/Film Department, Northwestern University
BA Philosophy/International Affairs, Minor in Cinema Studies, The Colorado College

Favorite Spot on Campus
The Davenport
Book Currently Reading
All: A James Broughton Reader (2007, edited by Jack Foley)
Brigid Maher is a tenured full professor in the School of Communication. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Community Voice Lab at American University and Founder and Creative Director of the Anacostia Youth Media Festival. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker focusing on women, from women’s issues in the Middle East to women’s health and beyond. She recently completed the documentary Experimental Curator: The Sally Dixon Story (2022), about a little-known pioneer in the male-dominated art world who transformed experimental cinema by helping film artists make it and the public see and understand it. Recently the film premiered at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which is the oldest and most prestigious experimental film festival in the United States. The film also broadcast on public television across the country during Women’s History month.

Maher produced and directed The Mama Sherpas (2015) in collaboration with executive producers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (The Business of Being Born). It follows nurse-midwives and their patients over two years to give an intimate glimpse of the unique value midwives can bring to childbirth in the hospital system. Distributed by Bond/360, it screened nationwide and is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video and elsewhere.

Maher produced and directed Veiled Voices (2009), bringing to light the complex role of female leaders in contemporary Islam through the stories of three women in Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. It screened on 150+ public television stations across the US, with multiple national satellite broadcasts. It was featured in the Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival and the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival and was distributed by Arab Film Distribution.

In 2005 Maher was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Lebanon, where she wrote, produced, and directed a fiction short, A.W.O.L. Shot on location in the Bekaa Valley, the film explores cross-cultural ambiguity and tension sparked by the Iraq War. It is distributed by Third World Newsreel. In 2002 she wrote, produced, and directed the feature film Adrift in the Heartland, shot in the West Bank and Chicago.

Maher’s writing examines the interplay between traditional film theory and new media theory. She has been published in the International Association of Film and Television Schools (CILECT)’s International Digital Media Arts Association Journal, Database|Narrative|Archive’s anthology Seven Interactive Essays on Digital Nonlinear Storytelling, and elsewhere. She was co-executive editor of the Journal for Digital Media Arts and Practice (2013–2017), president of the International Digital Media Arts Association (2017), and Conference Vice President of the University Film and Video Association (2016–17). Maher has served on numerous juries at film festivals in the US and abroad.
See Also
The Mama Sherpas
Veiled Voices
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2024

  • COMM-402 Adv Portfolio: Visual Media

  • COMM-711 Teaching Seminar in Comm

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities


VEILED VOICES. Producer and Director. HD. The feature-length documentary investigates the role of Muslim women leaders in contemporary Islam.


A.W.O.L. (2005).  Producer, Writer, and Director.  DVCAM.  The eighteen-minute fictional short about an encounter between an army deserter and a desert family in Iraq, evokes a wealth of cross-cultural ambiguities and tensions generated by the war. Distributed by Third World Newsreel (


THE MAMA SHERPAS (2015).  Producer and Director.  HD.  The Mama Sherpas is a feature-length documentary that will provide a personal glimpse into what midwives can bring to the birthing process in the hospital system.  The film is executively produced by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein and distributed by Bond Influence.


A MOSQUE OF HER OWN (ongoing). Interactive Documentary. Executive Producer and Creative Director (in collaboration with Nick Ray and Meng Wang).  The interactive documentary (i-Doc) explores an all women mosque in the Hui community of Kaifeng, China.