Mo Ogrodnik

Associate Professor

Photo of Associate Professor Mo Ogrodnik

Ogrodnik started her film career working with Michael Moore, Kevin Rafferty, and Jim Ridgeway on Blood in the Face, a documentary about the emergence of the New Right and the Ku Klux Klan in the mid-west. She then went on to produce films for National Geographic Television’s, Explorer Journal - a series that put cameras in the hands of explorers from around the world.  Ogrodnik was the Associate Producer on Feed - a satiric documentary about the 1988 presidential election.  Her first film, Richard and Nicole, a documentary about a trans-sexual chastised for starting a woman's group in a Unitarian Church in Maine, won numerous festival awards and sold to WNET. Her first feature film, Ripe, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, was theatrically released, and continues to be shown on The Sundance Channel. She co-wrote, Uptown Girls, starring Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning that was released by MGM. Her most recent film, Deep Powder, starring Haley Bennet and Shiloh Fernandez, was produced by Killer Films and Gwen Bialic and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and is available on Amazon and iTunes.  

Ogrodnik was the Associate Dean of the Arts for NYU, Abu Dhabi where she spearheaded the Film, Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Interactive Media & Technology programs.  She was instrumental in the ideation and execution of the NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center, assisting in the design and vision for the physical building and the hiring of the Artistic Director.  

Ogrodnik is the Principal Investigator of FIND, an artistic research lab that explores global issues facing the MENASA region (Middle East, North Africa, South Asia) through the lens of artists, scholars, and technologists.  FIND’s work can also be found on the Google Cultural Institute.   

In 2014, Ogrodnik convened Reversible - a gathering of 35 artists from the MENASA region to share works in progress on the theme of narrating identity from the inside-out/outside in.  The Reversible conference was funded by the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute with support from the Sharjah Art Foundation.  

Ogrodnik is on sabbatical for the 2016 calendar year.  She received a Dean’s Grant in the spring of 2016 and spent April in the Philippines doing research.  She is currently working on a multi-media project about the intersection of ex-pat, Arab, and South Asian women in the Arabian Gulf.  She is passionate about interdisciplinary work that blurs the lines between memoir, essay, and fiction.

Member, Writer’s Guild America East
Sundance/RAWI Jordan Lab – Filmmaker Mentor

Ogrodnik teaches writing, directing, and film production classes with an emphasis on character, visual storytelling, and dramatic structure.


Storytelling Strategies
Script Analysis
Introduction to Dramatic and Visual Writing
Developing the Feature
Developing the Feature – Alternative Story Structures, Berlin (Summer 2017)

Sight & Sound Film
Intermediate Production
Narrative Production
Advanced Production


Harvard College, Visual Environmental Studies
Columbia University, Film – Directing, MFA