Moema Umann is an educator, film and theater director and producer, who seeks to explore new ways of telling stories through film, multimedia, and live performance. She started her career in Brazil, and since 2006 she has been working in theater and films produced in Brazil and the United States. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Brasilia in performing arts and a master’s degree in directing from The Actors Studio Drama School in New York.
Moema Umann was chosen to participate in the 2016-2017 Observership Class of the very prestigious Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. In the summer of 2010, she was selected to be part of the Directors Lab at Lincoln Center and The Actors Studio Playwrights and Directors Workshop. Moema won Best Female Director at the 2010 American International Film Festival for her film, Before Breakfast, which was also accepted at the 2011 Short Film Corner in Cannes, the Big Apple Film Festival, Queens World Film Festival, and New Filmmakers 2012, among others.
In 2012 her film, Noemia, won a directing award at Hollyshorts Festival in Los Angeles. Moema produced and co-directed Brother's Sacrifice, which was featured at the Mini Media Festival in Brooklyn and at the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival in Georgia. Her film, Moth, where she explores a mix of animation, live action, and narration got accepted at Queens World film festival, NewFilmmakers New York, Short Film Corner at Cannes, among others. Moth won best experimental short film at the California Women's Film Festival and at TMFF. Cinewomen Europe Magazine said of the production: “We have been really impressed with your film, and we appreciate the way you capture unconscious emotional reactions, as well as your refined cinematography and sapient use of close-ups reminding us of Krzysztof Kieślowski's trilogy.”
Her film, Hurt, was screened in more than 15 film festivals around the world. It won best experimental short film at The New York Short Film Festival, 2017, best video art at the Five Continents International Film Festival, 2017, best smartphone production at the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, 2017, and best experimental Film at the Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival, 2017.
In 2013, Moema started working at 3 Legged Dog, a New York art center that explores theater performances and new technologies. She was hired to coordinate and manage productions, teach theater directors cinematic language, and coordinate and assist directors in transforming their plays into 2D and 3D movies. She worked with Kevin Cunningham (Fire Island and The Vogue Annual Party - Beijing), Meghan Finn (The Downtown Loop), Reid Farrington (Tyson Vs Ali), and Michael Counts (Michael Kors’ fashion video).
In 2015, she was invited to direct the film version of the show, Huang Yi + Kuka, by Huang Yi. On this project, she had the opportunity to work with director of photography Mark Raker, whose achievements include serving as cinematographer for legendary director Martin Scorsese on the film A Letter to Elia.
In 2016, Moema was hired as the Media Coordinator for Iḷisaġvik College in Utqiaġvik, Alaska. Her responsibilities included creating and developing projects for faculty, students, and staff, producing marketing videos, supervising productions, and the media team.
In 2017, Moema and two other artists founded Môtif Productions, a multimedia production company that supports and creates art projects focusing on artists facing challenges to have their stories told. In 2018, they directed, programmed, and produced the MôTif Film Festival 2018, in Fairbanks, Alaska, where they showed 69 films from all over the world.
Moema’s latest film, Uki, about a Iñupiaq girl, Uki, living in the Northernmost part of Alaska, was invited to be screened at the 2021 Seattle International Film Festival, and the San Francisco Museum’s Video Arts program. Uki is part of a 9 episode series called Pandemos. It was accepted to various film festivals and won many awards.