Mazzio received a B.A. in philosophy and political science from Mount Holyoke College in 1983 and a J.D. from Georgetown Law. She studied film production as a graduate student at Boston University. She is a former partner with the law firm of Brown Rudnick in Boston.
Her 1999 film, A Hero for Daisy, called "a landmark film" by The New York Times, is about Title IX pioneer and two-time Olympian Chris Ernst, who (in 1976) led her Yale University rowing team in a protest that increased athletic opportunities for women. This film, which won a Gracie and a Women's Foundation Journalism Award, aired nationwide on ESPN, Oxygen, and WTSN (Canada), was invited to screen at The Smithsonian, and is in thousands of classrooms across the nation.
Apple Pie, which was broadcast on ESPN, chronicles extraordinary athletes and their mothers, including Drew Bledsoe, Mia Hamm, Shaquille O'Neal, Grant Hill, Kenny Lofton, and others. The film was called "illuminating... told with deftness and emotion...priceless" by The New York Times.
Lemonade Stories, featuring Richard Branson, Arthur Blank, Russell Simmons, Tom Scott and other entrepreneurs, was the subject of a USA Today cover story, broadcast on CNNfn and is being shown throughout the world on television and in classrooms, board rooms, business schools, and consulting firms.
TEN9EIGHT tells the inspirational stories of several inner city teens who discover the power of entrepreneurship and compete in a national business plan competition. The title, TEN9EIGHT, refers to the fact that every 9 seconds a teen drops out of a U.S. high school. TEN9EIGHT was released in the fall of 2009 in a first-of-its-kind partnership with AMC Theaters in New York, LA, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Kansas City. BET and CENTRIC networks broadcast TEN9EIGHT initially on February 7, 2010 as part of Viacom’s GET SCHOOLED initiative with the Gates Foundation. The broadcast coincided with a special screening at the White House Summit hosted by the US Department of Education and the Library of Congress, as well as the release of a companion book to the film, Teens Blast Off, published by Scholastic. New York Times columnist Tom Friedman said this about TEN9EIGHT: “Obama should arrange for this movie to be shown in every classroom in America. It is the most inspirational, heartwarming film you will ever see.” The film was also called “inspiring… should be compulsory viewing in high schools around the country” (Lael Lowenstein, Variety), “very well made” (Mike Hale, The New York Times) and “important,” (Marshall Fine, Huffington Post). The film was named by Take Part as one of the 10 best documentary films on education. Also selected as a finalist of VH1's "Do Something" Awards.
The Apple Pushers, written and directed by Mary Mazzio, narrated by Academy Award nominee Edward Norton, and underwritten by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, follows immigrant street vendors who are rolling fresh fruits and vegetables into the inner cities of New York (where finding a fresh red ripe apple can be a serious challenge). These pushcart vendors, who have immigrated here from all parts of the world for different reasons, and who have sacrificed so much to come to this country (a near fatal crossing of the Mexican border, as an example) – are now part of a new experiment in New York to help solve the food crisis and skyrocketing obesity rates in the inner city.
The film had a special screening at the Aspen Ideas Festival where thought leaders and policy makers, including Robin Schepper (the head of Mrs. Obama's "Let's Move" campaign), discussed the film and the issues of how to tackle the obesity crisis in low-income neighborhoods across the country. In addition, Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of the USDA, hosted a special screening of The Apple Pushers at the Motion Picture Association in Washington DC for policy leaders, heads of federal agencies, and others in a position to help spread the message of the film - which is to think creatively about pushing back the borders of food deserts.
Narrated by Fred Dalton Thompson and directed by Mary Mazzio, Contrarian chronicles the life of philanthropist and legendary investor, John Templeton, who ranks among the top investors of all time, alongside Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch. In fact, long before Buffett and Lynch were on the radar, thousands of people were trekking to Templeton’s annual meetings – making Templeton the first true rock star investor. Broadcast on Bloomberg Television nationwide and internationally throughout Asia.
Underwater Dreams, written and directed by Mary Mazzio, and narrated by Michael Peña, is the epic story of how the sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants learned how to build an underwater robot from Home Depot parts. And defeat engineering powerhouse MIT in the process.
Hailed by Jonathan Alter as “the most politically significant documentary film since Waiting for Superman (The Daily Beast); featured on the Colbert Report; called “astonishing… already a contender for the best documentary of 2014″ (David Noh, Film Journal); “moving and insightful” (Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times), and named one of the Best Family Movies of 2014 by Common Sense Media, alongside Selma and Birdman; Underwater Dreams was released theatrically in Los Angeles, New York, and Phoenix with AMC Theatres.
This film screened at the White House, coming on the heels of a new coalition of corporate funders, educational institutions and non-profits, all galvanized together to fund STEM education for under-represented students. Called the Let Everyone Dream Coalition, the film has raised approximately $100 million.
I am Jane Doe chronicles the legal battle that several American mothers are waging on behalf of their middle-school daughters, who were trafficked for commercial sex on Backpage.com, the classified advertising website formerly owned by the Village Voice. Reminiscent of Erin Brockovich and Karen Silkwood, these mothers have stood up on behalf of thousands of other mothers, fighting back and refusing to take no for an answer.
Narrated by Academy Award-nominee Jessica Chastain, directed by award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio, and produced by Mazzio along with Academy Award-nominee Alec Sokolow, I Am Jane Doe is a gut-wrenching human story and fresh look at a social and legal issue that affects every community in America.
Called “a gripping legal thriller” (Esquire); “a powerful call to action” (The Los Angeles Times); “a viscerally emotional case (The Washington Post); “especially impressive…a powerful piece of work” (Elle Magazine); and “striking…powerful” (The Film Journal), the film was also highlighted in The New Yorker, Vogue, Cosmo, and People Magazine (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).Honorary Degree, Mount Holyoke College
The Gracie Award
American Heritage Award
Women's Sports Foundation Journalism Award
American Heritage Award
Myra Sadker award
Henry Luce Foundation Fellowship (Korea)
Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellowship (France)
Rhode Island Film Festival - 1st Place Judge's Commendation for Best Documentary
The Hope Award from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children