Director & Co-Founder
Zach Ingrasci is a director and the founder of Optimist. Best known for directing the feature documentaries Living On One Dollar and Salam Neighbor, Zach’s films have been released by Netflix, Amazon Prime, National Geographic, and The Atlantic. His 2020 short documentary, The Undocumented Lawyer, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and went on to Hot Springs, DOC NYC, Flickers Rhode Island, St. Louis and other top festivals, winning best documentary at The Boston Shorts Fest. It premieres on HBO in 2021. Most recently, he directed the feature documentary, Five Years North, which premiered at Full Frame Film Festival in spring 2020 and showed at MountainFilm, DocLands, and won the Grand Jury Prize at Flickers’ Rhode Island and the Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC. The film will have its theatrical release at Film Forum in 2021. Five Years North is also a finalist for the 2021 duPont-Columbia Awards for Outstanding Journalism.
Every Optimist film is accompanied by an impact campaign to create measurable outcomes. His projects have raised over $91.5 million for the films’ causes and have changed over 275,000 lives. He’s also passionate about mentoring and supporting other up-and-coming queer filmmakers.