As producer/director of numerous documentary, experimental and educational films and videotapes, Bill Chayes has won many national and international awards. His 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 more than 50 major university libraries. Birth of a Community: Jews and the Gold Rush is a standard in California public and Jewish schools. His film, Los Romeros: The Royal Family of the Guitar, aired on PBS and was nominated for an EMMY.
His 20 year university teaching career began at Tufts and Clark universities and culminated at San Francisco State, where he was a senior lecturer in film production and was awarded the Meritorious Performance and Professional Excellence Award. In addition, for many years Chayes served as the exhibition designer and curator of film, video, photography, music and digital art at the Magnes Museum. He now designs exhibitions for the African American Museum and Library at Oakland. He is currently working on a series of documentaries chronicling the attempt of adventurer Roz Savage to highlight the desperate plight of the world's oceans by becoming the first woman to row solo across the Pacific.