Nicole Mackinlay Hahn is an artist and filmmaker based in New York. She grew up working a family business on Fire Island National Seashore, which led to many campfire conversations with park rangers. These stories told by firelight unleashed Nicole’s imagination. She began her film career by borrowing her little brother’s pixel vision camera in the eighth grade to film friends during school. With documentary roots, Nicole absorbs the intimate realities and experiences of the people with whom she works, finding a natural beauty unique to her style of approach. Regardless of the medium, these revelations come through in the curiosity, honesty, interactivity, and generosity of Nicole’s work.
Nicole has worked extensively in Africa, shooting in twelve countries for her interactive installation project concerning workers in the garment industry. The resulting MIRROR/AFRICA installation was featured in Barney’s New York, the New Museum, and the London College of Fashion. Her continued interest in the lives of workers led to THE WELCOME TABLE PROJECT, commissioned by Louverture Films and Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), Nicole directed a series of short film portraits which maps the labor chain of workers in the food industry, and which was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival/Interactive. For the last few years, Nicole has been directing, filming, and editing exclusive short films with U2. Her short film, BURKINA, PRINCESS YENNENGA featuring a series of intimate portraits of a group of Burkinabé women, made its worldwide premiere at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and was featured on Nowness.
Nicole’s interest in capturing the fierce spirit of physical challenge and endurance brought collaborations on multiple films with CLIF BAR and ESPN X-Games. Product(RED), Breast Cancer Fund, Every Mother Counts, ONE Campaign, have tapped Nicole’s creative spirit to engage the public interest.
Her cinematography has attracted major feature doc interest and she shot the award-winning film SHADOW WORLD, about the international arms trade, by director and artist Johan Grimonprez. Nicole received her BFA from the School of Art and Design at Alfred University concentrating in Print Media, Video Arts, and is the recipient of the Vinal Haven Press and Kala Fellowships. Her artwork has been exhibited internationally, UK’s Center For Contemporary Art and The Natural World, with prints available at the Lazarides Gallery in London.