Adamu Chan is a filmmaker, writer, and community organizer from the Bay Area who was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison during one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the country. He produced numerous short films while incarcerated, using his vantage point and experience as an incarcerated person as a lens to focus the viewer’s gaze on issues related to social justice.
In 2021, he was a recipient of the Docs in Action Film Fund through Working Films and was tapped to produce and direct his film What These Walls Won’t Hold, which won Best Documentary Mid-Length at the 2023 San Francisco International Film Festival. In 2022, Adamu directed a documentary short for the doc-series Bridge Builders, partnering with ITVS/Independent Lens, about a community member working at the intersections of immigration, incarceration, and gender justice.
He is also a 2022 Stanford University Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Mellon Arts Fellow and a 2023 Rockwood Institute Documentary Leaders Fellow. Adamu draws inspiration and energy from the voices of those directly impacted and seeks to empower them to reshape the narratives that have been created about them through film.