Margaret Brown earned her BA from Brown University in creative writing/modern culture and media and her MFA in Film from New York University. She directed Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (2004) which chronicles the turbulent life of American singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt. Time Out magazine listed it at number 7 on its “50 Greatest Music Films Ever”.
Brown also directed the feature documentary The Order of Myths a 2008 Sundance Film Festival selection about the segregated Mardi Gras celebration of Mobile, Alabama. The film was nominated for Independent Spirit Award. It won many awards including a Peabody Award, a Cinematic Vision Award at the Silverdocs Documentary Festival and Truer Than Fiction Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.
In 2009, Brown was nominated a Cultural Ambassador for Documentary Filmmaking from the United States to Colombia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
In 2012 United States Artists named Brown a Fellow.
In 2014, Brown directed the feature documentary The Great Invisible which won the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for Documentary and an Emmy nomination for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and aired in April, 2015, on Independent Lens on PBS. The Great Invisible features the BP oil spill in the Gulf in 2010 and its aftermath.