Clay Pham


Clay Pham is a filmmaker from Vietnam. He holds degrees in Film and Television and in Economics. Pham’s work focuses on socio-political issues, including human rights violations, the environment, freedom of expression.  

After graduating from the University of Film and Theatre Arts in Ho Chi Min in 2016, Clay Pham began working as assistant director and collaborating with notable Vietnamese filmmakers, such as Huỳnh Anh Tuấn.

Pham quickly moved on to making his own films and was awarded a scholarship by VOICE (Vietnam Overseas Initiative for Conscience Empowerment). This enabled him to study civil society development in the Philippines which further developed his interest in human rights, inspiring him to make a documentary about prisoners of consciousness.

Working on his documentary ‘When Mother is Away’, Pham told the story of the Vietnamese blogger Mother Mushroom (Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh) who was imprisoned at the time, and the impact this had on her family. The documentary gained international attention, with screenings across the world. Clay has also been involved in documenting protests.

Because of the nature of his work, addressing socio-political issues, and his association with Mother Mushroom, Pham faced interrogations, harassment, surveillance, and arrest. As a result, Clay Pham fled to Thailand in 2018, where he continued his work discreetly, documenting the condition of immigrants and refugees living in limbo.

Clay Pham arrived in Sweden in May 2023, taking up an ICORN residency in a Swedish City of Refuge for the period 2023-2025. Pham continues to pursue his career in documentary filmmaking.