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Kimi Takesue

Kimi Takesue is an award-winning filmmaker and the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Filmmaking. Her feature-length documentary Where Are You Taking Me? shot in Uganda, was commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam where it had its world premiere. It was selected for MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight (Museum of Modern Art, NYC) and the Los Angeles Film Festival (Documentary Competition) where it was a Critics’ Pick by LA Weekly. The film also screened at international festivals in Sweden, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, India, and Uganda.

Where Are You Taking Me? was called "Extraordinary" by Nicolas Rapold (The Village Voice), "Stellar" by Richard Porton (Cineaste) and "Beautifully meditative...an enriching experience" by Jay Weissberg (Variety).

Takesue's films have screened at over 200 film festivals and museums, including the Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, New Directors/ New Films, Los Angeles Film Festival, Locarno International, SXSW, the Walker Art Center, and the Museum of Modern Art (NYC). Her narrative and documentary films have aired on PBS, the Independent Film Channel, and the Sundance Channel.
Among her fellowships and grants are a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, two artist fellowships from the New York Foundation in the Arts, grants from the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Ford Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, National Asian American Telecommunications Association, The Arts Council of England, Yaddo Artist Colony, and the MacDowell Colony.

Narrative projects include award-winning Summer of the Serpent and That Which Once Was (winner of the Futurestates Audience Award) starring Natar Ungalaq (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner). Takesue has produced and directed television programming for A & E Network and PBS, including the documentary series The First 48 and After the First 48.

Film honors include the Spirit of Slamdance Award, Slamdance Film Festival; Best Documentary, Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema; Grand Jury Prize, Brooklyn International Film Festival; Gold Medal & Grand Jury Prize, Brno International Film Festival, Czech Republic; Jurors’ Choice Award (1st place), Black Maria Film and Video Festival; Best Narrative Short, San Diego Asian Film Festival; and the Golden Reel: New Visions Award, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Raised in Hawai’i and Massachusetts, Takesue received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her M.F.A from Temple University. She is Assistant Professor in the Film Program at Syracuse University. Her films are distributed by Women Make Movies and Icarus Films.



Heaven’s Crossroad
A film by Kimi Takesue, 2002, 35 min., Color

HEAVEN'S CROSSROAD traces an impressionistic journey through Vietnam exploring the nuances and complexities of “looking” cross-culturally. Structured ...

Summer of the Serpent
A film by Kimi Takesue, 2004, 27 min., Color

This beautiful short drama exquisitely explores the unlikely bond that develops between two people from different worlds. Eight-year old Juliette sits...

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