Maria Finitzo is a two-time Peabody Award-winning social issue documentary filmmaker whose 30 years as a filmmaker has resulted in a body of work that has won every major broadcast award including most recently the Alfred I duPont Award and has been screened in festivals and theaters around the world. She is the director and producer of THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE. Her films are novelistic in their structure, providing multiple points of connection for an audience. She allows the narrative arc of her character’s story to evolve, colliding with other subjects from the film, creating a complex, nuanced story that serves as a vehicle to deepen our understanding of society through everyday human drama.
A coming of age story that reveals the resilience of adolescent girls (5 GIRLS), a father determined to heal his daughter after a tragic accident (MAPPING STEM CELL RESEARCH: TERRA INCOGNITA) investigates the role of science in a democratic society, a young man, leaving foster care (WITH NO DIRECTION HOME) explores the challenges of trying to find one’s place in the world, a soccer coach committed to teaching his players – Hispanic girls – about winning in life (IN THE GAME), and a young couple, both working minimum wage jobs struggling to make ends meet while building a life for themselves and their children (HARD EARNED) are all films that explore different realms of storytelling by investigating the important social issues of the day.
Finitzo’s films have tackled a variety of subjects from the controversial science of stem cell research and the complex questions surrounding the command and control of nuclear weapons to the psychology of adolescent girls, each film demonstrating a depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise. Finitzo is a 2018 Film Independent Fellow and is also a fiction screenwriter and director. She is currently working on an adaptation of a short story by Nobel Prize winning author Alice Munro. A TASTE OF LIFE will be Finitzo’s 2nd fiction film. She is a longtime associate of the award-winning documentary company, Kartemquin Films, one of the oldest and most respected social issue documentary film companies in the country.