JAMES KAELAN is a novelist, filmmaker, and journalist. His films, performances, and VR experiences have shown at Sundance, Slamdance, Tribeca, Cannes, AFI FEST—along with scores of other festivals around the world—and have been featured in publications from VICE to The New Yorker.

His latest in-progress work, the multimedia project, Bad CEO, is a hybrid of text, performance, and immersive experience that takes the audience from the unsustainable present into the sustainable future. Kaelan will begin as a Master's fellow at UC Davis this fall where he will be expanding the scope of Bad CEO in collaboration with the university's creative writing and food science programs.


Kaelan's first novel, We're Getting On, was featured on the cover of Poets & Writers Magazine. The book tells the story of a group of twenty-somethings who leave the city and move into the desert—where they intend to abandon technology completely. The first edition of the novel was printed on seed paper; if planted in the ground, it grew into a birch tree. And in keeping with the novel's theme, Kaelan toured the book by bicycle, staying at organic farms between Los Angeles and Seattle.


Bad CEO // Writer + Director // Multimedia // In Progress

America the Beautiful // Writer + Director // Immersive Feature // Slamdance Film Festival 2019


The Visitor // Writer + Director // VR Short // AFI FEST, Cucalorus, SFIFF, Slamdance Film Festival 2016

Hard World for Small Things // Producer // VR Short // Sundance, Tribeca, AFI FEST 2016

EEL // Writer + Director // Feature Film // Sarasota, AFF Wroclaw, Portland Film Festival 2015

We're Getting On // Writer // Novel //

Poets & Writers Debut Fiction Selection

  • Grey Vimeo Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • email gray