New York filmmaker Roddy Bogawa’s film and video work spanning nearly twenty-five years is known for its investigation of history and culture via lyrical and innovative narrative structures. First gaining attention as one of the “Asian American Bad Boys” along with Gregg Araki and Jon Moritsugu, his work along with theirs and several other film school educated directors signaled a shift in practice from the social activist and documentary films which had marked the first wave of Asian American cinema to a more expansive exploration of identity and culture.
Bogawa has made four feature films, I WAS BORN, BUT… (2004), JUNK (1999), and SOME DIVINE WIND (1991) and the most recent film, TAKEN BY STORM – THE ART OF STORM THORGERSON AND HIPGNOSIS (2013) and numerous short films and videos including IF ANDY WARHOL’S SUPER-8 CAMERA COULD TALK (1993), A SMALL ROOM IN THE BIG HOUSE (1988), THE IMAGINED, THE LONGED-FOR, THE CONQUERED, AND THE SUBLIME (1996), and I’M SIMPLY OVERWHELMED, I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY – THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH. GOOD NIGHT (2002) and MEMYSELFANDI (2010).
He studied art and played in punk bands before turning to filmmaking receiving his MFA degree from the University of California at San Diego studying with director Jean-Pierre Gorin, cinematographer Babette Mangolte, and critic Manny Farber. His awards and grants include Creative Capital Foundation, the American Center Foundation, the Jerome Foundation Independent Filmmaker grant, a NYFA fellowship, and New York State Council on the Arts. In 2013, he was the subject of a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that screened fourteen of his films and videos over a week titled IF FILMS COULD SMELL.