Azza Cohen (she/her) is a queer, Jewish documentary filmmaker, historian, storyteller, and activist currently serving as the videographer and video producer for Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris. A self-described “method director,” Azza immerses herself in every aspect of filmmaking behind and in front of the camera, from large- and small-scale documentary to political media — always through a lens of activism.
Azza joined the Biden-Harris Administration in July 2022 after she earned her MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University, where she was funded by the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. Her thesis film "FLOAT!" — a short documentary that captures Azza’s octogenarian grandmother Bubbe's journey learning how to swim — was acquired by The New Yorker and is now streaming.
At Stanford, Azza also directed "Dear Hormazd," a 16mm profile of a Zoroastrian couple urging their son to keep the faith; directed "Nothing left to do but marvel," an experimental short inspired by her own chronic migraines and filmed entirely in soft focus; and co-directed "Bruce’s Dream," an immersive short about a retired racehorse learning to ride again as a therapy horse for nonverbal teenagers on the autism spectrum. And she produced classmate Drew de Pinto’s thesis film "Compton’s ‘22," which was nominated for best student documentary film at the 38th Annual IDA Documentary Awards.
Azza earned her first Master’s Degree from the University of Galway in Culture and Colonialism through a Mitchell Scholarship. For her dissertation, Azza documented the socioeconomic effects of the ‘Brexit’ vote on communities along the border dividing Ireland and Northern Ireland.
As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Azza made "Refugee, Refugee," a micro documentary that profiles a Rwandan refugee adjusting to life in Trenton, New Jersey. And she directed and produced "Specks of Dust," an award-winning short documentary that follows a group of activists fighting human trafficking in India and which has been taught as part of human rights and gender studies curricula around the world.
Prior to earning her MFA, Azza collaborated on numerous social justice projects with colleagues across the industry. She worked with her mentor, Academy Award-winning director Vanessa Roth, on National Geographic’s "IMPACT" with Gal Gadot, a docu-series uplifting six remarkable women’s contributions to their communities. At documentary firm CreativeChaos vmg, Azza worked on "The Great Divide," a forthcoming documentary on the debate over U.S. gun laws; "Bleed Out," a 2018 HBO documentary investigation into medical error; and "This Changes Everything," a 2019 Netflix documentary exploring gender discrimination in Hollywood.
Outside of filmmaking, Azza is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar, a network of inclusive, interdisciplinary, international and intergenerational change makers; is a member of the Jewish Pride Fund, which provides grants to organizations supporting LGBTQ+ Jews; and served a four-year term on the Princeton University Board of Trustees.
Azza is eternally grateful to Andrew Jarecki, her documentary hero, who gave her a chance — and her very first film credit — as an intern on The Jinx.