Lisa Ades is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has been producing and directing films for PBS and cable television for nearly 20 years. Her acclaimed film Miss America, a feature-length history of the Miss America Pageant, screened in competition at the Sundance Film Festival before its broadcast on the national PBS series American Experience in January 2002.
Her work includes documentary films including: Indie Sex, a four-part series on the history of sex in the cinema broadcast on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) in 2007; Fabulous!: The Story of Queer Cinema, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was broadcast on IFC in 2006; Chasing the Crown, a one-hour documentary on an ethnic beauty pageant for WE: Women’s Entertainment (2005); In the Company of Women, a history of women in independent film (IFC/2004); and Beauty in a Jar, the story of the beauty and cosmetics industry (A&E/2003).
Prior to that, Ades produced and co-directed with Ric Burns New York, a five-part, ten-hour series on the history of New York City, which was broadcast on PBS in 1999 and received an Alfred I duPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism. She also produced with Burns The Way West a four-part, six-hour series on the history of the American West (PBS/ 1995), The Donner Party which earned a Peabody Broadcasting Award (PBS/1992), and was a co-producer of Coney Island (PBS/1991). Previously, she served as a producer of public affairs programming at New York’s public television station, WNET/Thirteen.
Ades has lectured widely and participated in public panel discussions on American history at institutions including: The Library of Congress, New York Women in Film and Television, The Organization of American Historians, The National Endowment for the Humanities, New York University, and The Sundance Film Festival. She has taught courses on Women in Documentary Film and Sexuality in the Cinema in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Currently, she is producing and directing a documentary series on a Jewish community in New York City.