Asa Mader

Asa Mader (born February 20, 1975)[1] is an American film director, screenwriter and visual artist.


Asa Mader studied cinema and new technologies at Brown University and New York University[2] and was awarded the Roberta Joslin Award for Excellence in Art with one of his first Super 8mm films.[3]

Asa Mader co-founded the NY-based digital design studio DIGITAL FORM—which served many prominent brands in the high-end fashion and luxury market (YSL, Versace, Valentino, Bulgari, Cacharel, Dolce&Gabbana, Pucci, Paul Smith, Sisley, Missoni, Moschino, Vivienne Westwood and Oscar de la Renta).[4][5]

Asa Mader then went on to direct his first narrative film La Maladie de La Mort, based on the homonymous novel by Marguerite Duras and starring Anna Mouglalis. The film was part of the official selection of the Venice Film Festival [1] among others: Locarno Film Festival, “Premiers Plans” in Angers, Cannes Film Festival (Short Film Corner),[citation needed] International Film Festival of Kerala and the Festival “Entrevues” of Belfort.[6]

In 2004, Asa Mader created his first stage direction HEROINE starring Anna Mouglalis, a theatrical installation/performance combining film projections and the texts of Ovid and Marguerite Yourcenar, along with text messages (SMS), all written proclamations of love, waiting and the anguish of love at a distance. HEROINE premiered at the Festival of Ortigia[7] in Siracusa, Sicily.

In 2005, Asa directed two films for French TV - Little Italy: Wiseguys, Bullets, Backrooms is a docu-fiction based on the Soundwalk audio tours of the mythic mafia neighborhood of New York. Pigalle starring Lou Doillon is the first of a series of five films commissioned by Paris Première, in which a young actress takes you into the heart of her neighborhood, in this case the red-light district of Paris.

Asa Mader has co-written several of the Soundwalk audio tours, including one in NYC's DUMBO neighborhood[8] and the official Da Vinci Code tour of the Louvre with Jean Reno.[9]

In 2006, Asa Mader presented three large-format film and video installations shot in Bombay and commissioned by Lille3000 in the exhibition entitled Bombay: Maximum City.[10] Additionally, Asa presented a diptych of “film portraits” on the writers Suketu Mehta (Pulitzer Prize Nominee) and Pavan Varma (author of Being Indian) in the same exhibition.

Asa Mader presented several film works at Le Laboratoire in Paris in a joint exhibit with acclaimed photographer and preeminent photojournalist James Nachtwey, subject of the Academy Award-nominated documentary War Photographer.[11] The exhibit entitled Combat pour la vie / Struggle for Life consists of a series of original photographs bearing witness to James Nachtwey’s work in Siberia, Asia and Africa, and to initiatives in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Asa created film portraits of four of the leading medical scientists in this field as well as an installation/portrait of the photographer James Nachtwey.

Asa Mader directed the music video "Violet Hill",[12] the first single of Coldplay's album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.[13] The music video was nominated for Best UK Video[14][15] and Best Special Effects in a Video at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards[16] and Best Video at the Q Awards[17]

Asa Mader worked in collaboration with choreographer Benjamin Millepied on a dance (and film) piece entitled Years Later, commissioned and performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov.[18] The piece was previewed on April 14, 2009 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center's Spring Gala in New York and premiered in Riga, Latvia on May 2, 2009. In homage to the birthday of Mikhail Baryshnikov, a short film portrait by Asa Mader was presented on NOWNESS on January 27, 2012.[19]

Asa Mader's more recent collaboration with Benjamin Millepied resulted in the short film Time Doesn't Stand Still, starring Léa Seydoux.[20] It features an original soundtrack by composer (and longtime David Lynch-collaborator) Angelo Badalamenti. A short teaser of the film was previewed on the website NOWNESS in December 2010.[21] The completed version of the film was released in 2011.[22]

In 2012, Asa Mader was invited by the Deauville American Film Festival for a writing residency and to work on a film based on a book of William Dean Howells.[23] He also showcased Ray of Life an immersive film experience starring Carmen Kass during Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. Ray of Life utilized 3D panoramic and holographic projections and was developed with fashion brand Jay Ahr and technology company Dassault Systèmes.[24]

In 2013, Asa Mader's feature documentary project In The Shadow of the Dream, a portrait of Clarence Benjamin Jones, one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s trusted allies, was presented at Independent Filmmaker Project's Spotlight on Documentaries in New York.[25] The project was subsequently presented at the 2014 Hot Docs Forum in Toronto.[26]

In 2014, Asa Mader teamed up with filmmakers Arthur Jafa and Kahlil Joseph to produce the feature-length documentary Dreams Are Colder Than Death,[27] a haunted cinematic meditation on the question: "what does it mean to be black in America in the 21st century?" The film was co-produced with ZDF/Arte and premiered at the 52nd New York Film Festival,[28][29] the Los Angeles Film Festival [30] and received the Best Documentary Feature Award at BlackStar Film Festival.[31]


Feature filmsEdit

  • Dreams Are Colder Than Death (2014)
  • In The Shadow of the Dream (2013)

Films for TVEdit

  • Pigalle with Lou Doillon (2006)
  • Little Italy: Wiseguys, Bullets, Backrooms (2005)

Short filmsEdit

  • Time Doesn't Stand Still (2011)
  • La Maladie de la Mort/The Malady of Death (2003)

Music videosEdit


  1. ^ a b De Haiden, Moritz (2003) Venice Biennale: Cinematographic Art - 60th International Exhibition, Mondadori Electa, ISBN 978-88-370-2461-1
  2. ^ "Alumni, Modern Culture and Media", Brown University
  3. ^ "Les Rencontres Paris-Berlin", Festival Les Rencontres Paris-Berlin
  4. ^ "Geek Chic - New York's Digital Form Delivers Bytes and Sites with Style", Women's Wear Daily, May 12, 2000
  5. ^ "Pucci Conquers Cyberspace", Women's Wear Daily, July 30, 2001
  6. ^ "International Competition 2013", International Film Festival Entrevues Belfort
  7. ^ "Heroine at Festival of Ortigia" Archived July 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Ortigia Festival 2004
  8. ^ "Soundwalk NYC - Brooklyn" Barnes & Noble
  9. ^ "Louvre Offers Da Vinci Code Tour", BBC News, May 15, 2006
  10. ^ "MELD presents Asa Mader"[permanent dead link], IKONO.TV
  11. ^ "“Combat pour la vie”, une expo de James Nachtwey Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine", Obiwi, 12/02/08, retrieved 2010-01-21
  12. ^ "Violet Hill", Youtube Official
  13. ^ "'George Bush' gets on his dancing shoes for new Coldplay video", NME, May 20, 2008, retrieved 2010-01-21
  14. ^ "2008 MTV Video Music Awards | Best UK Video", MTV UK News
  15. ^ "Best UK Video", BBC News Aug 2008
  16. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 2008 - Nominees", MTV Video Music Awards, retrieved 2010-01-21
  17. ^ "Coldplay Top Q Awards List", MTV UK
  18. ^ "He Has a Pass to Dance as Long as He Wants ", The New York Times, May 14, 2009, retrieved 2010-01-21
  19. ^ "On This Day in 1948", NOWNESS, Jan 27,2012
  20. ^ "Black Swan Choreographer in Romantic Tango Short", Filmmaker Magazine, December 12, 2010
  21. ^ "NOWNESS presents Time Doesn't Stand Still" NOWNESS, Dec 12, 2010
  22. ^ "Millepied returns to Movies: New short film with director Asa Mader ", Vogue Italia
  23. ^ "Festival Press Release" 38th Deauville American Film Festival
  24. ^ "Asa Mader Showcases an Immersive Film Experience", Each x Other Magazine, June 16, 2012
  25. ^ "Spotlight on Documentaries", 2013 IFP Project Forum Slate
  26. ^ "Hot Docs 2014: Buckets of Rain, Beaucoup de Docs" Documentary Magazine
  27. ^ "Dreams Are Colder Than Death - Full Credits", IMDB
  28. ^ "NYFF Announces Spotlight on Documentary Selections: Films From Maysles, Blank, Scorsese", Filmmaker Magazine
  29. ^ "Producer Asa Mader at NYFF", Getty Images
  30. ^ "Arthur Jafa & Kahlil Joseph Team Up For 'Dreams are Colder than Death' World Premiering At LAFF" Archived 2015-10-19 at the Wayback Machine, Indiewire May 6, 2014
  31. ^ "2014 BlackStar Film Festival Award Winners"[permanent dead link], Indiewire

External linksEdit