Steve Hanft

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Steven Paul Hanft, more commonly known as Steve Hanft, is an American film and video director.

Early life[edit]

Hanft was born in Ventura, California.[1] He started making films at the age of 11. His early work consisted of surf films and nature films followed later by Dalí-influenced titles. As a young man Hanft was accepted into the California Institute of the Arts from where he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree. There he learned from teachers like James Benning and visiting artists like Monte Hellman and Stan Brakhage. While at CalArts Steve won several grants including the Kodak Cinematography Award and the Princess Grace Film Grant. Hanft was able to shoot several films there, including his masters thesis Kill the Moonlight.


Hanft released a feature-length documentary about the original Jamaican DJs called the Return of the Rub a Dub Style on March 10, 2011, world wide on the Ernie B's reggae label. The film screened at Anthology Film Archive in New York City, and at the Don't Knock the Rock Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Hanft first had success directing music videos for his friend, Beck, including- Loser, Jackass, Pay No Mind, Beer Can, Golden Age, and Where It's At, which won him an MTV award. Hanft also works extensively in Europe, directing videos and short films like Primal Scream's Kowalski, which was written by Irvine Welsh, the writer of Trainspotting, and features super models Kate Moss and Devon Aoki ripping through London in a muscle car.

Hanft produced and starred in the Cannes Film Festival Award winning short film Sunglass Catch and directed videos for Ariel Pink, Phoenix, Carmen Electra, and the Grammy award winners the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Hanft signed to DGA in 1999, released his first union feature, Southlander, in 2003, and has any more in the works.


  1. ^ "Steve Hanft Interview". Mozart Breath. Music By Day. 20 November 2007. 

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