I was born in 1978 in Boulder Colorado, USA. Both my parents escaped the crazyness of New York City in the 70’s and settled in Colorado where they continue to be active in their community. At an early I was socialized to be aware of poverty, racism and inequality by my mother who works for the Head Start Program exposing me to the richness of cultural diversity and the fight for social justice. After I finished my B.A. in Anthropology (Magna Cum Laude) I worked as an ethnologist in Oaxaca Mexico, than later as an underwater cave dive instructor in Brazil. In 2001 I migrated to Germany. Frustrated by the limitations of anthropological writing, looking to reach a wider audience I started experimenting with documentary filmmaking and working as an intern and assistant in the German film business. In 2006 I was accepted at the University of TV and Film in Munich focusing on documentary filmmaking. My thesis film TEARDROP, a short fiction, won numerous prizes and was invited to more than 50 competitions internationally from Brooklyn to Busan. My debut film and first feature screenplay LOS ÁNGELES - THE ANGELS, based on my ethnographical field research in a small Zapotec community in Oaxaca Mexico, was invited to the Berlinale Talent Project Market where it was received with acclaim gaining French coproduction with the renowned Parisian company Les Films d'Ici. Following the Berlinale the project was funded by the German national funding board Kuratorium junger Deutscher Film as well as the regional funding board Filmstiftung NRW and was green- light by ZDF in cooperation with ARTE. Principal filming will start in summer 2013 My films deal with family, hope and the sometimes-turbulent struggle to unite the two. I describe myself as a proud father, photographer and visual anthropologist where every film is a growing experience.
Damian John Harper