Mary J. Blige's
National Geographic Presents: IMPACT
Daughters of Destiny
The Girl and
The Last Eyewitnesses
Daughters of Destiny
Vanessa Roth has been writing, directing, and producing premium documentary features, shorts, series, branded content, and social justice impact work for over 25 years. With the goal of bringing our common humanity to light, to amplify the stories of unique and inspiring people, places and unknown or forgotten narratives in history – Vanessa is dedicated to storytelling that embraces the authentic raw beauty of people’s true selves and impacts viewers while pushing creative bounds with a cinematic, intimate, and collaborative approach to every unique project.
Vanessa has garnered the highest of honors in documentary, film, television, social justice, and journalism with over 60 awards including the Oscar, The Leonard Maltin Humanitarian Award, The Television Academy Emmy Honors Award for Social Impact, The Alfred I DuPont Columbia Award, Sundance Special Jury Awards, The Gracie Award, Women Image Award’s highest honors, the GLAAD Honors, Cine Golden Eagles, Casey Medals, Impact Doc Awards for Best in Show and Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking, IDA honors, Audience Awards and Jury Prizes at top festivals around the world, as well as special honors for her work in social impact, social justice, witness to history and legacy, women & youth empowerment and equal rights.
Vanessa develops and leads creative teams as Series Creator, Director, Producer, Executive Producer, and Showrunner with studios including Disney, National Geographic, Amazon, Netflix, PBS, HBO, Discovery, MAX, A&E, ESPN, BBC. She also conceives of and leads multi-media storytelling projects for international non-profits, NGOs, brands, foundations, organizations, museums, memorial halls, public art exhibitions and universities. Her work has screened at hundreds of international festivals, The White House, for multiple sessions in Congress and inside the United Nations. She has collaborated and co-created content with and interviewed legendary artists and global leaders in science, history, and policy from around the globe.
At the helm of over 20 feature docs, shorts and series, Vanessa’s visceral, textured, and emotional projects are made around the world, from big cities to the most rural villages, and from lives have never been recognized to work with international icons including Mary J Blige’s My Life (Amazon Original Feature), National Geographic Presents IMPACT with Gal Gadot (Nat Geo/Disney Plus Original Limited Series), Wynton Marsalis in Somebody Forgot to Talk (2024 release). Her international work has brought her through rural India where she spent 8 years following the lives of children from the most discriminated against families in India in her 4 part series Daughters of Destiny (Netflix Original Limited Series) and animated short, I am Who I am Because of Her (Netflix Short); into projects in the Middle East about extremism and peace efforts in her shorts The Other Side (ESPN 30for30) and The Present is Ours (UNESCO); into multiple countries in Africa and China for work around genocide and healing (The Girl and the Picture – USC/Shoah Foundation); throughout Eastern Europe with the last of the Righteous Among Nations (The Righteous Road Trip – short 2024 release). Her decades of work in the United States have focused on character driven projects that tell dramatic and touching stories of rising up against the odds in pursuit of justice in mental health, child welfare, education and preserving memory and legacy in her films Freeheld (HBO) Close to Home (Sundance, Discovery, Oprah), Taken In, Aging Out, No Tomorrow, The Texas Promise (PBS) 911 Toxic Dust (A&E), Third Monday in October (Sundance), American Teacher (Amazon, NBC), Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses (Discovery Special Presentation), Anxious Nation (2024 release), and her upcoming 4 part Limited Series for MAX.
Additionally, Vanessa has been an ongoing Adjunct Professor, Visiting Artist, Key- Note and TedX Speaker at high schools, colleges and universities focused on ethics in filmmaking, cross cultural collaborations, human rights, youth and female empowerment, legacy, memory, history, and storytelling.
Vanessa received a BA in Creative Writing and Psychology from UCLA and holds a Masters’ degree in Social Work and minor in family law from Columbia University. Before making films, she worked as a writer and director for the Arts in Education programs for NY City Public Schools and a child advocate for Legal Aid and the UCLA Rape Treatment Center. She lives in New York with her husband and three children and is the daughter of Archeologist/Anthropologist Linda Roth, and Academy Award winning Screenwriter, Eric Roth.