Cynthia Wade won the 2007 Academy Award and sixteen additional film awards for her Cinemax short documentary FREEHELD, about a dying policewoman fighting to leave her pension to her female life partner. A narrative feature film adaptation of FREEHELD by the same name is was released in 2015 staring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore.
In 2013, she received her second Oscar nomination for her HBO documentary MONDAYS AT RACINE, about a hair salon that caters to women undergoing chemotherapy. Wade’s short documentary BORN SWEET, about a Cambodian village poisoned with arsenic well water, won 17 festival awards worldwide. Her HBO feature-length film SHELTER DOGS, about the ethics of euthanasia at a rural animal shelter, won 5 festival awards and was broadcast in 7 countries. Cynthia’s 2014 short film SELFIE went viral and captured 5 million viewers within the first 10 days of internet launch. She is the director of the feature length documentaries LIVING THE LEGACY (Sundance & IFC Channels), GROWING HOPE AGAINST HUNGER (Sesame Street Prime Time Special, Emmy Winner), and GRIST FOR THE MILL (Cinemax). Her camerawork has been seen on HBO/Cinemax, PBS, A&E, AMC, The History Channel, LOGO, Oxygen, MTV and Discovery. Her 2015 branded short documentary END MOMMY WARS, on behalf of Abbott’s Similac brand, went quickly viral, capturing millions of views. She is the producer of the CNN award-winning film THE GNOMIST, which captured 3.5 million views online.
Cynthia is a MacArthur grant recipient. She holds a Master’s Degree from Stanford University in Documentary Film and a BA cum laude from Smith College.
Grant Winning Project: FREEHELD