© Benjamin Rasmussen
Mike Shum (b. Denver, CO, 1985) is a journalist and filmmaker who specializes in cinematography and production. Shum’s work explores the ways in which we perceive and define home within contexts of historical and cultural struggle. Through documentary film, Shum draws people into the complicated nature of empathy as a way of featuring the spectrum of human experience from abuses of institutional power to individual trauma. Growing up a son of Hong Kong immigrants, Shum seeks to relate his own struggle with defining home through his body of work.
Most recently, Shum was the writer-director and producer on the Frontline | PBS post-election special collaboration, American Voices: A Nation in Turmoil. The broadcast film is an excerpt of a long-term project following people in the United States as they live through the COVID19 Pandemic.
In 2015, Shum was a finalist for the 2015 National News and Doc Emmy for Outstanding Interview with the NYTimes for his work in Iraq. In 2017, he produced and served as director of photography for the Tribeca Film Festival’s Audience Award-winning film, Hondros — a documentary on the life and work of famed photojournalist, Chris Hondros, now available on Netflix. In 2019, Shum served as director of photography for the film Predator on the Reservation — a documentary about a doctor who preyed on children for over twenty years within the Indian Health Services. He and his team were finalists for the 2020 National News and Doc Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Documentary with the Wall Street Journal and Frontline | PBS.
In addition to these collaborations, Shum works with renowned media organizations like BBC, Al Jazeera Witness, Time Magazine, and National Geographic. He is also building a commercial and fiction portfolio for artistic endeavors to come.