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Bill Chayes began his career in film production, exhibition design and education working with classic film documentarians Richard Leacock at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John Marshall at the Center for Documentary Anthropology in Cambridge, Mass.

As producer/director of documentary, experimental and educational films, Chayes has won many national and international awards. Jews and Buddhism: Belief Amended, Faith Revealed, was named "one of the outstanding documentaries of the year" by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is in over 50 major university libraries. Birth of a Community: Jews and the Gold Rush is a standard in California public and Jewish schools. Los Romeros: The Royal Family of the Guitar, produced in association with San Diego PBS station KPBS had two national PBS prime time broadcasts and was nominated for an EMMY. Call it Home: Searching for Truth on Bolinas Lagoon was featured on San Francisco's PBS channel KQED as part of its "Truly, CA" series. His latest long form film, Metal Man: The Story of Victor Ries premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October, 2014. His last five documentaries have all appeared frequently on PBS among other venues and continue in widespread distribution.

His university teaching career began at Tufts and Clark Universities in Massachusetts and culminated at San Francisco State University where he was senior lecturer in film production and was awarded the Meritorious Performance and Professional Excellence Award.

His museum experience includes many years serving Berkeley, Calif.’s Magnes Museum as its Exhibition Designer and Curator of Film, Video, Photography, Music and Digital Art. He now designs exhibitions for the African American Museum at Oakland (AAMLO) and the Petaluma (CA) Historical Museum, and does free lance museum consulting and design in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Bill Chayes
Chayes Productions
956 Chileno Valley Road
Petaluma, CA 94952
Tel: (707) 782-9131 E-mail:

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