Joel Moffett was raised on the island of Maui where he graduated high school from Seabury Hall. He holds an MFA in Film Directing from the American Film Institute and an MFA in Theatre Directing from Humboldt State University.
He has received grants from the NEA, the AFI, the Tides Foundation, the Lane Family Foundation and the Colin Higgins Foundation. Recognition for his film work includes a Student Academy Award, a Student Emmy Award, the Amy Bloch Directing Award and AFI's highest honor, the Schaffner Award. Collectively, his films have screened in over seventy international film festivals including Cannes and Berlin. His film My Body received the award for Best Short at fourteen film festivals including the Los Angeles International Film Festival, The Uppsala International Film Festival, the Nashville Film Festival, the Aspen Short Fest, Cinequest and Clermont Ferrand.
Joel has directed numerous award-winning plays including Havel's The Memorandum, Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, and Euripides' Alcestis. His original play The Middle of Nowhere toured the homeless shelters and soup kitchens of the continental United States.
While in Los Angeles, Joel taught screenwriting and Directing at the American Film Institute for nine years. In addition, he consistently taught screen acting, production and directing classes for the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. Joel has worked as a screenwriter for Alibi Entertainment (London), Hervis Entertainment (Berlin) and Moving Movies (Los Angeles).
In 2007 his short film Horsepower screened at twenty-eight film festivals, winning top honors at seven, including the London Independent Film Festival and the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival.
In 2010 his short film Poi Dogs screened at over sixty film festivals, including Tribeca, Berlin, and Melbourne. Poi Dogs won the Grand Jury Prize for “Best Short” at the Washington D.C. Independent Film Festival, the Platinum Remi Award at the WorldFest Houston, a Cine Golden Eagle Award through the CINE Awards Competition, and the Award of Merit from the Accolade Film Awards Competition. Most notably, Poi Dogs won the sole Award of Merit at the 2010 University Film and Video Association Conference.
Presently Joel serves as Associate Professor in the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. In this capacity he was awarded a Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching in 2010.