Claire Mullen began making films in elementary school, and in high school she joined the Academy of Integrated Humanities and New Media (AIM) a 2-year integrated social studies and documentary film programme. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Media Studies from Scripps College, where her focus was the study of communication as a tool to advance social justice. In 2009 she studied abroad in Bolivia, where she made a documentary about the unique use of community radio networks utilised by Evo Morales’s second presidential campaign. This became part of her graduating thesis, a comparison of hate speech laws and media ownership in the United States, Bolivia, and Germany. Her experience with community radios in Bolivia led to a deepening interest in the democratic means of audio broadcasting, and she went on to work at the National Public Radio stations KQED and KALW, both in San Francisco. She then spent four years working as an audio producer with Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language narrative non-fiction podcast. From 2014-2015 she trained in audio engineering at the Women’s Audio Mission, an all-woman recording studio and education centre dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts. She worked for two years as an in-house audio engineer for the weekly, hour-long investigative reporting show Reveal at the non-profit Centre for Investigative Reporting. Since 2017 she has lived in Mexico City, where she works as a freelance audio engineer and sound designer and has contributed engineering to projects such as a four-episode investigation into the Ayotzinapa massacre, a collaboration between Reveal and the National Security Archive. She has produced audio stories and documentaries for 99% Invisible, Public Radio International, and NPR, among others. She taught sound design at the UC Berkeley Advanced Media Institute, and at the KPFA Audio Apprenticeship Programme. Her work has received awards and honours including: finalist for the Gerald Loeb Awards 2021, winner of the Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award 2018, finalist for the Adelante Reporting Fellowship 2018, winner of the TC/RHDF Director’s Choice Award 2016, and finalist for the KCRW Radio Race 2016. She was a fellow with the National Book Critics Circle from 2019-2021, and has published written criticism of literature, art, and film for outlets including The Nation, The Believer, Artsy, Lithub, and Public Books, among others. Claire is an avid 35mm and Super 8 analogue photographer/videographer and has been a consistent member of various community darkrooms since 2007.
Last update of this profile: 2023