Hima B. is an independent writer/director/producer who makes social issue documentaries, narratives, experimental films and videos that explore the intersections of race, gender, sexual orientation, labor, & economics, especially as they relate to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, & questioning (LGBTQ) individuals, people of color, & women and girls.
Hima B.’s interest in documentary filmmaking began with her 1st documentary about queer female sex workers entitled Straight for the Money which premiered at the 1994 San Francisco Int’l. Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, the 1994 Whitney Museum’s series “From India to America: New Directions in Indian American Film & Video”, the 1995 Whitney Biennial, & continues to screen nationally and globally. In 1995, she partnered with Eliza Barrios to co-direct the short narrative LICK, about a jilted lesbian who takes revenge on her X through her fantasy world. In 1996, she directed the documentary Coming Out, Coming Home for San Francisco’s Asian/Pacific Islander (API) chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), which featured four Asian families as they discussed their personal journeys of coming to terms with their adult gay & lesbian children’s sexualities.
In 2003, she produced ent-homo-philia, a short, dark experimental video that “queers Kafka” and plays on the metaphor of internalized homophobia. Parallels between insect behavior and the main character’s mating ritual are made as a beetle-woman unsuspectingly participates in her mate’s metamorphosis. In 2008, Hima B. played Hillary Ride’m in a satirical short entitled Jihad for Democracy, about the extreme measures she takes to convince Barack Hussein Yomama that she’d be a suitable vice president.
In 2008, Hima produced a series of non-fictional video profiles of ten African American and Latina women who are HIV+. This collection has launched HIV Sisters: Living Quilt, an interactive online living HIV/AIDS quilt which features media by and about women and girls who are infected, impacted, and at risk for the virus. In 2011, she released a short documentary entitled How Do You Tell Somebody That You’re HIV+? which follows a day in the life of Haneefa, a young African American woman who struggles to disclose her HIV status to her ex-boyfriend.
Hima B. was born in India, raised in the US, & earned an MFA from Mills College. She has trained students in the NYC public school system as well as LGBTQ youth & young adults in all aspects of video production.
Hima B. has received funding for her videos and films from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Funding Exchange/Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, Astraea National Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the New York Foundation of the Arts, Open Meadows, the Brooklyn Arts Council, New York State Council on the Arts & the Horizons Foundation. She is a 2011/2012 fellow of the Queer.Art.Mentorship program.
Hima B. is currently in production on License to Pimp, a documentary about strippers and their labor conditions. She asks the question, “What would you do if your workplace became a brothel?” Would you learn to adapt to it, fight it, or quit? The film chronicles three strippers and the choices they make when their clubs violate their labor rights & engage in illegal practices, which push many workers to prostitute in order to pay management hefty fees to work.