Ellen Bruno

Moving Image, 2001

Filmmaker and international relief worker Ellen Bruno began her relief efforts since the 1970s in Mexico, working in remote Mayan villages. Since then she has worked in refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border as field coordinator for the International Rescue Committee, and for four years as director of the Cambodian Women’s Project for the American Friends Service Committee. She has been a hospice worker for the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, providing bedside assistance for people dying of AIDS and cancer. Her first film SAMSARA, her masters thesis at Stanford, documents Cambodian life in the aftermath of Pol Pot’s killing fields. SATYA: A PRAYER FOR THE ENEMY is based on the experiences of young Tibetan Buddhist nuns who have been imprisoned and tortured for their nonviolent protests of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. SACRIFICE is the final installment in her Asian trilogy. All three films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Ellen was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1998, a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1997, fellowships from the Western States Media Arts and a Shenkin Fellowship from Yale University School of Art. Bruno is an artist leader in Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program.

Awards and Accomplishments


 Bruno's documentary on the effects of divorce on children, SPLIT, is now available for distribution

2006: Bruno receives the Anonymous Was a Woman grant