Photo: Duncan Cheng

Photo: Duncan Cheng


      The heart of my work is about the poetry of place and inner lives of people. Like so many others, I've many times felt my voice is all I had. That "all I had" has reduced itself to light, heat, fire and embers—something to tend for a lifetime.
      I love ways people are resourceful, adaptive, playful, resilient. I say, use the pit, the rind, everything. Especially my generation. There's so much s**t we're faced with, and no one ever acknowledges it. Use all you've got.
     I love expression and humor in service of hard truths. I <3 culture, that thing people create to externalize and "out" their potential. New ones being created as well as ones at the bend. 
     Cultural representation is important to me—not just my own, but also that of others. Culturally I'm a mutt and it makes me so happy. Would have it no other way.
     I've often felt being an immigrant woman of color put me in a spot of needing to shapeshift all the time. It used to wear on me, showing up so many different ways, but now I know it's a gift. I enjoy being a filmmaker and writer as much as being a sister, a friend, a worker. An insolent, a migrant, a warrior. An underground stream, overground and in the ether. Every embodiment—bewildering, broken or whole—feeds me, my capacity to move in this world, understand and create. 
     I will forever be invested in communities left unchampioned by the mainstream: what they face, how they deal and love. More and more, I'm taken by the invisible hands, sometimes the strong-arm, that guide us along our ways.
    I make works about living, my take and grasp of it.  
   Aliveness, things hard-earned, things given to small miracles, protection and triumph. That's what I hope my art will carry.


In Search of Radio Golha (8 min, DV, 2008, Iran) – Documentary short

Some Day (1 min, 16mm, 2009, East Los Angeles) – Experimental performance short

Circadian (9 min, DV, 2009, Miami / San Francisco) – Documentary short

Night Creatures (3 min, HD, 2010, Valencia) – Performance piece on video

Lupine Trampoline (3 min, 16mm color, 2011, Val Verde) – Experimental short

Jahyu aka Freedom (17 min, HD, 2014, San Francisco) – Documentary short

Hill Moon Mosque (3 min, HD, 2017, Brooklyn and San Francisco) – Video short

The Dust of Summer (s16mm, 26 min, 2018, Los Angeles) Narrative short plus dance film

In pre-production:  Drift and Return (2020, Chicago) – Narrative feature

Artist Bio


Seoul-born Hanul Bahm is a writer and filmmaker working at the intersection of external realities and inner truths. She has directed numerous shorts, including narrative fiction and documentaries.

She has worked on feature docs by filmmakers from the LA Rebellion (The Power to Heal by Charles Burnett; And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead by Billy Woodberry) and other independent docs (In that Order: The Story of Aaron Wright). She has filmed in Iran, South Korea, the Mississippi Delta, Atlanta, Southside Chicago, New York, San Francisco and throughout Southern California.

In 2017, Hanul produced Detonator, a POV Digital Lab-supported discovery portal for POC / immigrant film artists. She's produced videos, photography and blogs for KCET’s Emmy-winning content portal Artbound and a video oral history channel for the LACMA9 Art+Film Lab. The latter involved working one-on-one with hundreds of community members in Compton, Inglewood, San Bernardino and East LA. 

Hanul has contributed to Vibe Magazine, Aperture Foundation, WBAI Pacifica Radio and the Sundance Institute and the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture in different content capacities. Past clients and collaborators include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, early wave Alvin Ailey dancers and RuPaul's Drag Race contestants. She received her MFA in Film/Video from CalArts and her BA in Photography, Graphic Design and Journalism from Rutgers University. She is an alum of the New Orleans Film Society’s 2018 Southern Producers Lab.

Hanul is writing and developing Drift and Return, a feature narrative.