Materials in the Sue Marx papers, which primarily consist of audiovisual formats, address Marx's career as a filmmaker after leaving network broadcasting, spanning more than two decades of documentaries and advertisements created by Marx's eponymous production company. While the collection includes polished versions of various films, including Marx's Academy Award-winning short subject "Young at Heart," the bulk of the analog and digital materials contain raw footage from which Marx later constructed her completed documentaries and promotional pieces. Also included are files containing background research materials, production releases, scripts, transcripts of interviews, and audio files.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Sue (Suzanne) Marx, is president of Sue Marx Films, Inc. Since establishing her company in 1980, she has produced and directed countless promotional, political, and educational videos, as well as television and radio spots, which have aired on PBS, BBC, CBC, Bravo, the Movie Channel, Art & Entertainment, and The Learning Channel. The films have also been broadcast in England, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Holland, New Zealand, Singapore, and Russia. Her films on the subject of art are held in the Museum of Modern Art film collection.
Marx received a 1987 Academy Award for her short documentary film, "Young at Heart," which was screened at the prestigious New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center and at the Telluride Film Festival. "Young at Heart" was also the first independently produced documentary to air on Russian television. Sue Marx has won national and international recognition including over 20 EMMYs, 11 CINE "Golden Eagles," and major awards from leading film festivals as well as an Award of Excellence from National Women in Radio and Television.
Prior to starting her own company, Marx did public relations, worked as a free-lance photojournalist, and wrote and produced the award-winning documentary series, "Profiles in Black," for Channel 4, which ran for nine years on the NBC affiliate in Detroit, WWJ-TV.
Marx was named one of the top-ten newsmakers of the year by Crain's Detroit Business and was honored with an Arts Foundation of Michigan Award. She was listed as one of the 50 most powerful women in Michigan by Detroit Monthly Magazine, one of the 30 most dynamic women in Detroit by the Women's Economic Club and was named Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News in 1990. Corp! Magazine lists her as one of Michigan's most powerful women. Marx received a Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Award, and a Distinguished Woman's Award from Northwood University. She is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Marx is the daughter of artist, Louis Gothelf, and his wife, Leona. She was born in New York City and raised in Indiana. Marx earned an undergraduate degree from Indiana University, and a Master's degree in social psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1962. After graduation from Indiana University, Marx began her career with a small advertising agency in Chicago. She moved to Detroit a few years later, where she married Hank Marx and taught English in Royal Oak for two and a half years until she became pregnant with the first of three daughters. Marx's daughters were born in 1955, 1956, and 1959. She never returned to teaching. When her girls were very young, she began working as a photographic model.
Marx discovered, however, that she liked being behind the camera better than in front of it. In 1970, Marx was hired by the Detroit NBC affiliate, WWJ-TV Channel 4 (now WDIV-TV) to be the producer of "Profiles in Black," a long-running, weekly, award-winning documentary series, hosted by Gilbert Maddox.
In 1980, Marx opened her production company on Woodbridge near the Renaissance Center. Since then SMF has produced and directed numerous films, videos and TV spots for a wide variety of clients. Much of her work has been in done in collaboration with another producer or writer or both. The company moved every 10 years, from its start in Downtown Detroit in 1980, to Royal Oak, Michigan in 1990, and finally, to Birmingham, Michigan in 2000. In 2016, SMF continues to produce videos for non-profit organizations including the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and Forgotten Harvest.