Maxi Cohen is an independent ﬁlmmaker whose feature documentary ﬁlms play in movie theaters, on TV internationally, in festivals, and have inﬂuenced two generations of documentary ﬁlmmakers.
Maxi’s first media for social change experiment – a weekly TV series in Cape May, N.J. – helped reverse the town’s demise, becoming one of four landmarked towns in the country, changing its social, cultural and economic future.
The theatrically released JOE AND MAXI about her relationship with her father was noted for pushing the envelope of the genre. (NYWIFT Preservation Fund for 35mm print; MoMA archives).
Maxi directed ANGER for the feature SEVEN WOMEN – SEVEN SINS (ZDF), in which seven internationally acclaimed directors re-interpret the seven deadly sins. ANGER won first prize in festivals from Tokyo to Montreal.
In response to the LA Riots, Maxi produced/directed SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES: INSIDE VOICES, filmed by African-Americans, Latinos and Koreans living in areas affected by the LA riots. The first film made by by non-professionals on television (Showtime) and of such ethnic diversity. (Best in series ZDF/ARTE)
Maxi made films for SNL, Fox Television, ARTE and developed series for the BBC, CPB, HBO and Turner.
In response to governments internationally misunderstanding Ayahausca, made a film about the Santo Daime, a church emanating from Brazil that drinks Ayahausca called the “Holy Give Me”.
Maxi co-founded First Run Features, the first company to distribute American indie features to theaters and the Independent Feature Project, representing feature filmmakers nationally.
She has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Karan Weiss Foundation, Jerome Foundation, among others.