Jonathan Yi

Director + DP + NYU Professor  


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New York, NY
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Jonathan Yi is a freelance director and cinematographer, most often working in the realms of commercial production and documentary. In addition, he teaches 16mm and digital cinematography at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

As a director/cinematographer, Jonathan’s work has been showcased in such magazines as CREATIVITY and VICE, and in 2006, Jonathan was honored at the MOMA at the AICP Awards for his work on “Sushi” for He has shot projects for TWISTED SISTER, POISON, DANIEL JOHNSTON, MATES OF STATE and THE LOCUST.

His client list in the advertising world includes NIKE, SMIRNOFF, VISINE, KLEENEX, JETBLUE, STRIDE, TRIDENT, KOTEX, MICROSOFT, SAP, TD AMERITRADE, SCHICK, PEPCID and many more.

SHIFT, a film that Jonathan shot, directed and produced, has also won many accolades and played in many film festivals. Monsters and Critics called it “a hot film worthy to be nominated for an Academy Award.” Film Threat wrote: “Four Stars! Fantastic! Yi has captured what it is to be part of the late shifts of the country.”

Jonathan attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Film Program, where he won a “Faculty Commendation For Cinematography” for his work on the film “BRUNO” directed by Sam Goetz. The film went on to gain distribution through Canal+.

In 2010, HBO hired Jonathan to produce, direct and shoot a new PSA/Doc Series from the ground up. The series, “East of Main Street: Asians Aloud,” premiered on HBO in May 2010 and was met with critical acclaim and strong viewership numbers. It went on to win the 2010 NAMIC Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Award (EMMA). The campaign was also honored by the Mark Awards for Multicultural or Alternative Audience Development – Digital Media.

Following the success of 2010′s Asian Heritage Campaign, HBO once again brought Jonathan on board to direct an even more ambitious second installment of “East of Main Street” which premiered on HBO in May 2011. Jonathan directed his third installment of the series, “East of Main Street: Small Talk,” in 2012 and is currently in production on the fourth installment for 2013.