H. Paul Moon is a filmmaker whose body of work includes short and feature-length documentaries, dance films, and experimental cinema, featured and awarded at over a hundred film festivals worldwide.

P
aul’s debut film “El Toro”—an experimental work that explores connections between the ancient ritual of Spanish bullfights, and the passion of the Christ — won the Best of Show award of the 2010 Rosebud Film & Video Festival at Artisphere, and the Experimental Media Prize of the 2011 WPA Experimental Media Series at The Phillips Collection. Prior to “El Toro, Paul created the documentary “R. Luke DuBois: Running Out of Time,” profiling a New York composer and visual artist who builds on notions of cultural and romantic memory, exploring how information can be manipulated over time for emotional impact. The documentary premiered at the 2011 DC Independent Film Festival, won the 2011 “Best Short Documentary” jury prize at the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, won the 2011 “Silver Medal for Excellence in a Music Documentary” at the Park City Film Music Festival, and won the 2013 “Best Short Film” jury prize at the Reel Indie Film Fest in Toronto. Subsequently, Paul created the short documentary “Hamac Cazíim,” about a punk band using music to maintain their indigenous heritage, which became an official selection at nine film festivals internationally.

Other select films include: “Time Crunch,” a landscape/environmental film accompaniment to the same-named work for chamber orchestra by composer Jordan Kuspa; “Simple Machines” with an original music score by R. Luke DuBois; and the dance films “Locomotif,” “O pastor animarum” and “Apostasy” — all official selections at film festivals internationally. His documentaries “LowerTown Paducah,” about an artist relocation program in Kentucky, and “The Saxon New World,” about 19th-century Saxons who settled in rural Missouri, are still playing in festivals. Two recent films are “Sitka: A Piano Documentary,” about the craftsmanship of Steinway pianos, and “Quartet for the End of Time,” about Olivier Messiaen’s transcendent WWII composition, that premiered on the commemorative date and at the place where the imprisoned composer first debuted his work. Projects in post-production include three feature-length documentaries: about cowboy poetry, Fluxus art, and the life of Whittaker Chambers.

Prior to his interest in filmmaking, Paul was a playwright and a composer of incidental music for theatre. He lives and works in Washington, D.C., and creates/manages online filmmaker communities at www.focuspulling.com and www.docofilm.com. He worked as a small camera specialist for a Paramount feature film starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, and was resident dance filmmaker at Experimental Film Virginia 2015 in Cape Charles, Virginia. He has taught documentary editing as an Adobe Certified Expert at Docs In Progress, where he received an Emergence Award at their Decade of Docs commemoration. He is now an adjunct professor in George Mason University's Film and Video Studies program.
Paul was cinematographer/camera operator/colorist for director Josephine Decker's First Day Out in the anthology film collective:unconscious.  Rolling Stone called it “a Malick-esque portrait,” Austin Chronicle acclaimed the “Lubezki-level single-shot photography,” New Yorker cited the “ecstatically onrushing continuous takes,” and Slant Magazine praised my “intricate and exhilarating tracking shots” with “explosively colorful cinematography.”
Moon's latest film “Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty,” a feature-length documentary about the life and music of the American composer, recently premiered on PBS. The Philadelphia Inquirer acclaimed its “great visual polish” and “extremely impressive array” of sources. Composition:Today called it “a remarkable success” that “rewrites the rules of documentary filmmaking,” and MusicWeb International called it a “lavishly illustrated documentary” that “proclaims the meticulous labour, inspiration and persuasive powers of H. Paul Moon and his subject.”  Currently, he is finishing a short documentary about the 95 Theses of Martin Luther at their 500th anniversary.
Back to Top