H. Paul Moon is a filmmaker whose work concentrates on the performing arts, featured and awarded at over two hundred in-person film festival screenings worldwide.

aul’s debut film “El Toro”—an experimental work that explores connections between the ancient ritual of Spanish bullfights, and religious passion — 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. Around that time, 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. Paul next 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.

Subsequent films included: “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 early documentaries “Lowertown Paducah,” about an artist relocation program in Kentucky, and “The Saxon New World,” about 19th-century Saxons who settled in rural Missouri, remain in wide distribution. Two later 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.

Prior to his interest in filmmaking, Paul was a playwright and a composer of incidental music for theatre. He lives and works in New York City and Washington, D.C. 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. With pianist Immanuela Gruenberg, he created Boosey & Hawkes' first-ever interactive pedagogical sets, acclaimed as “superb video content” (Pianodao.com) that “may set the standard for literature books going forward” (Clavier Companion).  He sits on the boards of directors for Mivos Quartet and the 21st Century Consort. Classical musicians and composers with whom he has also collaborated include Anne Akiko Meyers, Denyce Graves, “The President's Own” U.S. Marine Band, Jon Deak, Daron Hagen, Tobias Picker, Susan Botti, Marc Peloquin, Yaron Deutsch, Talea Ensemble, Calefax Reed Quintet, Opera Essentia, and many more.  He teaches workshops, and documentary editing as an Adobe Certified Expert at Docs In Progress, where he received an Emergence Award at their Decade of Docs commemoration, and he has taught for half a decade 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 the “intricate and exhilarating tracking shots” with “explosively colorful cinematography.”
Moon's next film “Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty,” a feature-length documentary about the life and music of the American composer, premiered on PBS and has screened in over a dozen film festivals worldwide. 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 Opera News named it "Critic's Choice."  His latest film “The Passion of Scrooge” is an operatic adaptation of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol,” again awarded “Critic's Choice” by Opera News as a “thoroughly enjoyable film version, insightfully conceived and directed” with “first-rate and remarkably illustrative storytelling.” The Dickensian called it “a beguiling formal experiment to bring Dickens’ classic into contemporary and personal relevance” and “a distinctive addition to the long history of Carol adaptations.” The film was the inaugural title of “Opera Philadelphia Channel Presents” in 2022. Currently, he is finishing a feature-length documentary about western poetry, while his ongoing bicentennial multimedia works on poet Walt Whitman are featured at whitmanonfilm.com.
Selected works are available to watch on physical mediaon Amazon Prime, and on Vimeo or YouTube.
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