M.F.A. Documentary Film: Class of 2011: Mina T. Son

  • Mina T. Son is an award-winning Korean American documentary filmmaker originally from Garden Grove, California. She ventured into the world of filmmaking in 2006 with her first short documentary, In My Home, about her experience as a full-time caretaker for her mother. In 2007, she was awarded the Armed with a Camera Fellowship from Visual Communications, a premier Asian Pacific media arts center in the United States, and completed her second short documentary, Past the Food, about a Vietnamese American man’s experience with compulsive binge eating. Mina’s films have screened at several prestigious film festivals and museums including the National Gallery of Art, Margaret Mead, Mill Valley, Starz Denver, and Cinequest. She is a two-time Student Academy Award Regional Finalist and her other awards include Best Short Documentary at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and a CINE Golden Eagle Award. A recent graduate of the M.F.A. in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University, Mina makes films on an eclectic range of topics that share a common thread of offering glimpses into underrepresented and rarely seen subjects. Her thesis film is a short observational documentary following two Korean students who attend the California School for the Deaf. She is a recipient of the 2010-11 College Art Association Professional-Development Fellowship in the Visual Arts.


    College Art Association Professional-Development Fellowship in the Visual Arts, 2010

    Korean American Scholarship Foundation, 2010




    Making Noise in Silence

    hd video

    19 min.


    Making Noise in Silence immerses viewers into a completely Deaf world.  From the perspective of two Korean high school students, whose families immigrated to the U.S. in search of a better life, the film explores the richness and complexities of Deaf culture.



    Loni Ding Award in Social Issue DocumentaryCenter for Asian American Media (CAAM), San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, 2012

    Best Documentary Short, San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2011

    Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, 2012
    Deaffest (UK), 2012
    Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema, 2012

    Korean Film Festival - Australia, 2012
    DOCUTAH Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival, 2012
    NextFrame International Student Film Festival, 2012

    Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2012

    Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, 2012

    Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, 2012

    United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF), 2011




    An Architect's Vision

    16mm color film

    6:10 min.


    A short documentary that questions the relationship between sight and architecture, An Architect's Vision is a glimpse into the world of Chris Downey, an architect who is blind. Discover with him what makes a building beautiful if you cannot see it and how one overcomes the challenge of designing structures without sight.



    Director’s Choice (3rd Prize), Black Maria Film + Video Festival, 2011

    Finalist, Region 1, Student Academy Awards, 2011

    Newport Beach Film Festival, 2011

    Webcast on Truly CA Shorts, KQED, San Francisco, 2011

    Kinoki Film Festival, 2011

    San Francisco Film Society - Cinema by the Bay, 2010




    Top Spin

    Co-directed with Sara Newens

    hd video

    11:32 min.


    With hard work and family sacrifice, a young table tennis champion works towards becoming one of the top players in the world.



    Regional Finalist, Student Academy Awards, 2010

    CINE Golden Eagle Award, Student Division – Documentary, 2010

    Best Short Documentary, San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2010

    Cinema by the Bay, San Francisco Film Society, 2011

    Traverse City Film Festival, 2011
    Asian American International Film Festival, 2011

    Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2011

    Newport Beach Film Festival, 2011

    San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, 2011

    Cinequest Film Festival, 2011

    Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, 2011
    IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival, 2011

    LUNAfest, 2010
    Mill Valley Film Festival, 2010
    BendFilm, 2010
    Starz Denver Film Festival, 2010

    Cantor Arts Center, Party on the Edge, 2010




    The Final Chapter

    16mm black and white film

     4:31 min.


    A film that explores the meaning of death for two individuals who confront mortality on a daily basis.



    Buying and Selling: Stanford Student Filmmakers on Bay Area Economies, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, 2013

    Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, 2011
    NextFrame International Student Film and Video Festival, 2011

    Bay Area Student Experimental Film Festival, 2010
    Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, 2010

    FilmLab Festival, (UK), 2010

The French Ambassadors of King Henry II at the court of the English King Henry VIII

Oil on canvas

Holbein, Hans the Younger (1497-1543)

Photo credit: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY

Liberty Club #2


Acrylic and water-based oil

Enrique Chagoya

Mirror Mirror


16mm film

Jan Krawitz



Acrylic on Shaped Canvas

Matt Kahn