About

Van is an award winning photographer and filmmaker. His short films have been screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, The Independent Filmmakers Showcase, The Atlanta Shortsfest, and The Pasadena International Film Festival. His work has been commissioned by Nokia, Men’s Health, Newsweek, AARP, Guitar World, Texas Monthly, Smart Money, TV Guide, Psychology Today, American Way and other national magazines. Van also served as Story Producer and cinematographer for Brave New Films – producing several short documentaries on social justice issues which reached millions of viewers through online distribution. He teaches at the New York Film Academy (Los Angeles) and UCLA Extension – where he received the 2015 Outstanding Instructor of the Year honor for the Visual Arts Department. He is preparing for his feature film directorial debut of SLEEPING IN PLASTIC produced by Red Entertainment and principal photography beginning in Fall 2017.

// Films, Awards, + Recognitions

2015

Outstanding Instructor of the Year for the Visual Arts Department – UCLA Extension

This is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health (documentary) – Brave New Films

Professors in Poverty (documentary) – Brave New Films

2014

Nokia Lumia Icon Film Challenge – Finalist

Dominica Film Challenge – Finalist

19th Annual Independent Filmmakers Showcase Film Festival – Winner Best Independent Short Film (short film: You’re There in the Sun Let Go)

Pasadena International Film Festival – Official Selection (short film: You’re There in the Sun Let Go)

2013

Atlanta Shortsfest – Official Selection + Winner Best Dramedy (short film: Milk & all the wrong things)

2012

Independent Filmmakers Showcase – Honorable Mention for Directing (short film: Balloons Go Pop)

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival – Official Selection (short film: Balloons Go Pop)

FADE IN Awards – Quarter-finalist

2011

International Photography Awards (honorable mentions – portraiture)

2010

Polaris Project Fellowship (Washington D.C. non-profit organization dedicated to combating Human Trafficking) – New Media and Communications 2010 Summer Fellow.  The Fellowship Program is nationally recognized as one of the premiere leadership programs exclusively focused on the issue of human trafficking and on providing young professionals with training on-the-ground practical experiences in the anti-trafficking movement.

2009

International Photography Awards (2 honorable mentions – family portraiture, editorial sports)

Px3 – Prix de la Photographie, Paris – Photography Competition (honorable mention – portrait/culture category)

PDN/Photoserve February Portfolio of the Month

2008

International Photography Awards (3 honorable mentions – fine art portraiture, fine art still life, and personal portraiture)

Invited to join AtEdge – an invite only series of publications showcasing the top 150 assignment photographers in the world

2007

Featured Artist in the documentary series “The Art of Living” on the Veria Network

Stills Photographer for “Grass Grows Green” – an official 2007 Sundance Film Festival nominee

// Teaching

UCLA Extension – Photography & Video Instructor (2014-present)

New York Film Academy (Los Angeles Campus) – Instructor (2014-present)

Courses Taught: Photo I, Photo II, Photographic Composition, Street Photography, DSLR Motion & Video, Lighting I & II, MFA: Professional Lighting Practices I, Photography Practicum II, Image to Capture, Shooting Practicum, Imaging III & IV

// Exhibitions

Magnolia Gallery Retrospective (Group), The Ross-Akard Gallery, Dallas, TX (2011)

“Cocktails for a Cause” (Group), Against the Grain, Dallas, TX (2009)

Humble Arts Foundation Group Show 22, Online, Curator: Jon Feinstein (2009)

“Blue Polipo” (Group), Arturo Rodriguez Studio, Dallas, TX (2008)

“Portrait of the American Dream” (Solo), Magnolia Gallery, Dallas, TX (2008)

“Turning the Lens” (Group), The Kettle Art Gallery, Dallas, TX (2008)

“Lamps” (Solo), Vickery Park, Dallas, TX (2007)

Group Show, House of Kul Gallery, Dallas, TX (2007)

“Streetcars + Motormen” (Solo), VD Gallery, Dallas, TX (2006)

“Doll + Dolls” (Solo), The Sozo Gallery, Dallas, TX (2005)

// Publications

Texas Monthly – 16 page photo essay on Immigration. Traveled over 5,000 miles in Texas to photograph 18 subjects in 21 days.

HEY?! THAT’S MY CAB! finding a way in photography (published 2011)