Discipline: Film/Video – documentary, Film/Video – experimental

Kimi Takesue

Discipline: Film/Video – documentary, Film/Video – experimental
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2001, 2003, 2012, 2016, 2024

Kimi Takesue is an award-winning filmmaker/artist whose films have screened widely at film festivals and museums internationally including Sundance, Locarno, Rotterdam, New Directors/ New Films, SXSW, Mar del Plata, Vancouver, London’s ICA, the Walker Art Center, and the Museum of Modern Art-NYC and have aired on PBS, IFC, Comcast, the Sundance Channel, and the Criterion Channel. She is the recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller and New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships, as well as the "Chicken & Egg Award" from Chicken and Egg Pictures, honoring women filmmakers who have made a significant contribution to the documentary field. She is associate professor in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at Rutgers University-Newark.

Her feature documentary Where Are You Taking Me?, shot in Uganda, was commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam and premiered at the festival, followed by screenings at the Los Angles Film Festival and MoMA's Documentary Fortnight. Where Are You Taking Me? was theatrically released by Icarus Films, where it was a Critics’ Pick by Time-Out New York and LA Weekly, and was described by The New York Times as, “Fascinating … an unusual, visually rich visit to the nation.”

Her recent documentary Onlookers (2023)—an immersive meditation on travel and tourism in Laos—premiered at Cinéma du Réel at the Centre Pompidou and the Slamdance Film Festival where it was awarded an Honorable Mention for Breakout Features. In 2024, Metrograph at Home will feature a one-month streaming retrospective of Takesue's films available throughout the U.S. While at MacDowell, she'll be working on editing a documentary about Cambodian tour guides who lead visitors to sites of wartime atrocities.

Portrait by Richard Beenen

Made at MacDowell

Fellow Works Supported by MacDowell

Onlookers (Documentary)



Kimi Takesue worked in the Mixter studio.

Built in 1927–1930, the Florence Kilpatrick Mixter Studio was funded by its namesake and designed by the architect F. Winsor, Jr., who also designed MacDowell's original Savidge Library in 1925. Mixter Studio, solidly built of yellow and grey-hued granite, once had sweeping views of Pack Monadnock to the east. The lush forest has now grown…

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