Manuela Hung’s ‘Handpan Journey’ premieres at MFF

Reel Chicago goes Behind the Scenes with Manuela Hung on the making of her fascinating documentary, Handpan Journey premiering at Midwest Film Festival’s Female Filmmaker Night.

If there was a Chicago award for lifetime achievement, dedication and love for film, Manuela Hung would be a top contender.  She has been an active part of Chicago’s entertainment and advertising industry for 40 years, from motion picture film stock guru to General Manager at Periscope Post and Audio.  

Manuela has completed her first documentary, Handpan Journey with the help of Producer Kamelya Alexan.  

Handpan Journey, follows the journey of drum maker Jenny Robinson of Isthmus Instruments, as she builds the world’s first and only women-owned and operated company of its kind from literally nothing.   

The documentary was filmed in a week by all Chicago crew. Post was done by Periscope Post & Audio.

Reel 360 interview with Manuela about the making of Handpan Journey

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About Manuela Hung 

Handpan Journey

Manuela Hung’s star began to rise the moment she left college, as she evolved from supervising testing on Kodak mo-pic film stock, to developing new techniques and equipment for the film industry at large.  In 1995, she designed and built a state of the art film lab in Dallas, TX which set a new standard for design in the field.  In 2001, she was asked to by Filmworkers to get a newly acquired film lab up to speed; Filmworkers Astro Lab quickly became the place to go for processing and dailies in Chicago and nearby cities.  She served as the GM for the Dallas and Chicago labs, as well as Filmworkers Club. 

In 2016, she became Managing Director for all the Filmworkers Club companies in Chicago, Dallas and Nashville, as well as Chicago-based VFX company Vitamin. With the advancement of digital acquisition, Manuela transitioned her crew to Whitehouse Post and Carbon.  Following this, she was a General Manger with Periscope Post & Audio until 2020.

Manuela has received many awards for her outstanding work in the film industry, and currently works as a consultant.  She is involved with the independent film community, with photography as her first passion, and works with nonprofit organization Friends of Conservation, which does their work in the Masai Mara in Kenya. 

Handpan Journey premieres at Midwest Film Festival’s Female Filmmaker Night, at Chi Town Movies, 2343 S. Throop on August 26.

Handpan Journey
Handpan Journey Crew


Handpan Drum Maker: Jenny Robinson – ISTHMUS DRUMS
Producer and Director: Manuela Hung  
Cinematography: Manuela Hung  
Kamelya Alexan: Producer and Additional Camera
Editor: Ana Christianson 
Colorist: Ryan Stemple 
Drone Operator: Jessica Carey
Audio: Jeremy Zussman 
Post Audio Mixer: Kendall Barron 
Photography: Reute Butler 
Music Score: Maxwell Johnson 
Post Production: Periscope Post & Audio 

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