Panda Bear Films mission is to create social issue and character-driven documentaries, in hopes to spark change and build communities.





Chelsea Hernandez is a 7-time Lone Star Emmy winning director, producer and editor. She has worked in television since the ripe age of nine, hosting and co-producing a children's educational TV program with her mother. A native of Texas and raised in Austin, Chelsea sought out the media industry by studying film in New York City at Adelphi University and Brooklyn College. She gained internships at Steeplechase Films, home of PBS documentary filmmaker Ric Burns, and Jon Alpert's Downtown Community Television where she was later employed as rentals associate.

Chelsea found her way back to Austin after her mother experienced a traumatic sickness, Guillian Barre Syndrome. Being 1 in 7 of the most severe cases in the world, Chelsea's mother was completely paralyzed and in a coma state for 4 months, unable to talk for 8 months and in the hospital for a year. During this time, Chelsea helped her mother heal while attending the University of Texas, in which she eventually received a BA.

Chelsea jumped into a documentary career working on a PBS project before graduating college. She was Associate Producer and Assistant Editor on the national broadcast PBS Special, Fixing the Future, hosted by NPR's Marketplace host David Brancaccio and directed by Ellen Spiro (Body of War, Troop 1500). She's edited and produced with stellar documentary directors like Nancy Schiesari (Tattooed Under Fire), Hector Galan (Children of Giant, Chicano) and Mario Troncoso (Arts In Context). 


Full Filmography

(starting with most current)

An Uncertain Future - Dir. Chelsea Hernandez & Iliana Sosa

In Austin, Texas, two expectant mothers—one undocumented and one US citizen—must contend with increased ICE raids and mounting hostility towards immigrants under President Trump.
An Uncertain Future is part of Our 100 Days is a partnership between Firelight Media and Field of Vision that aims to tell stories from the perspective of vulnerable communities and explore threats to U.S. democracy in this current, polarized political climate. New episodes, each from filmmakers of color, will be released weekly.

Arts In Context - Dir. Mario Troncoso

Arts In Context is a monthly arts documentary series exploring the process of creation through collaboration and the condition of living and working as an artist.

  • Co-Director & Editor
    • In Face (EMMY WINNER)
  • Co-Producer & Editor
    • Sacred Hearts
    • HOME
    • Considering Matthew Shepard
    • Passing it Forward
    • The House of Songs
    • Shakespeare on the Farm
    • A'lante
    • Sing Me a Lullaby
    • A Light In The Dark 
    • Classical Undead
    • Here and Beyond
    • In Their Words (EMMY WINNER)
    • Music for All (EMMY NOMINATED)
    • People’s Choice (EMMY NOMINATED)
    • Rebirth
    • Rude Mechs
    • The Influencers
    • A Reason to Dance (1-hr program)
    • Performing Possibilities (1-hr program)
    • Songwriting With Soldiers: In Their Words (1-hr program)
  • Associate Producer & Editor
    • A Moving Canvas
    • Let Me Tell You About The Octopus Project
    • The Best Little Art House in Texas (EMMY WINNER)
    • There Will Be Fun (EMMY WINNER)
    • Thirst (EMMY WINNER)
    • Tiny Puppets
    • PowerUP
    • Masters of Ceremony
  • Editor
    • Tardeadas
  • Associate Producer
    • Somos Krudas (EMMY NOMINATED)
    • Beautiful Creatures
    • El Taller (1-hr program, EMMY WINNER)
    • Perception Unfolds
    • The Art of Playing
    • Not Alone

Arts In Context SHORTS - Dir. Chelsea Hernandez & Eve Tarlo

Arts In Context SHORTS is a bi-monthly docu-web series showcasing local artists and their process of creation.

  • Director, Producer, Editor
    • 6 Pianos (EMMY NOMINATED)
    • Never a Dull Moment
    • A Strange Pilgrimage
    • The Thing We Are Not
    • Activism Like A Punk
  • Producer, Cinematographer
    • Silence to Power

29 Light Years - Dir. Erik Mauck

Feature Narrative (90min) - Adam is approaching the age of 30 - yet he's still delivering pizzas in the suburbs. Will he continue on a path that's comfortable or choose to make a few changes in his life.

Second Camera, Field Sound Recordist

See The Dirt - Dir. Chelsea Hernandez, Erik Mauck

Short documentary (15min) - Scott MacMillan is a typical 14-year-old, in many ways. But it’s his vast collection of vacuum cleaners that sets him apart from the other kids. (Distributor: Xfinity)

Director, Producer, Editor

Before Midnight - Dir. Richard Linklater

Feature Narrative (109min) - We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna. (Distributor: Sony Picture Classics)

Editorial Intern

Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine - Dir. Hector Galan

TV series (six 1-hr episodes) - A six-hour television series that takes the viewers on a journey to the historical places where Christianity was born and grew into the official religion of the Roman Empire. Hosted by author and distinguished history professor Jonathan Phillips of Royal Holloway, University of London. (Distributors: PBS International, APT)

Post Supervisor, Associate Producer, Assistant Editor

Canine Soldiers - Dir. Nancy Schiesari

Documentary feature, Work In Progress Cut (20min) - Canine Soldiers, shot entirely in 3-D, with permission from the US Army, reveals the intimate bond between trainers and the dogs they send to war.        

Editor, Field Sound Recordist, Editing Consultant

The Road to Livingston - Dir. Erik Mauck

Feature documentary (1hr 26min) - Delia Perez Meyer is introduced to the community surrounding the prison system in Texas after her brother is convicted of a triple murder. (Distributors: FILMRISE / FISHER KLINGENSTEIN VENTURES LLC)

Co-Producer, Camera Operator

Undergrads: South - Producers James Franco and Vince Jolivette

Web series (5min) - "Undergrads: South" captures a behind-the-scenes look at college life and the unique experiences of undergraduates as they struggle to balance their personal lives, school obligations and movie-making dreams.

Camera Operator, Assistant Editor

Fixing the Future - Dir. Ellen Spiro, Exec. Dir. John Siceloff

TV special (56min) - In Fixing the Future, host David Brancaccio, of public radio’s Marketplace and NOW on PBS, visits people and organizations across America that are attempting a revolution: the reinvention of the American economy. (Distributor: PBS)

Associate Producer, Assistant Editor, Camera Operator

Legends of the Game - Dir. Parker Vandergriff

Conceptual film trailer (2min) - Small town mayor Tom Vandergriff vies to bring a professional baseball team to his town in 1964: The Texas Rangers.

Second Assistant Camera

One Big Misunderstanding - Dir. Patrick Bresnan & Ivete Lucas

Feature Documentary (70min) - A character-driven documentary of an unusual subculture, ONE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING follows the first public Vietnam war reenactment in Philadelphia.

Assistant Editor

Archer - Dir. Erik Mauck

Short film (15min) - An elderly man reads to his deceased wife at her grave and, on this day, is asked to leave by a young groundskeeper who is trying to close up the cemetery. On the way to the front gate, the two learn a bit about each other before parting.

Co-Producer, Camera Operator

Five Generations - Dir. Adrian Laguette, Chelsea Hernandez, Rhea Rivera

Short documentary (8min) - In 1860 Joe Sing, migrated from China and became one of the first Asian immigrants to reside in Austin. Five generations later, his family recounts his history and celebrates their American, Mexican, and Chinese culture.

Co-Director, Co-Editor, Camera Operator

Our Guadalupe - Dir. Chelsea Hernandez, Juan Elizondo, Lacey Triplett

Short documentary (8min) - Some of the deepest family roots of East Austin were parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe church, which was moved from the downtown location on 5th and Guadalupe Street to East 9th and Lydia in the early 1920s. The Salas sisters are one of those families, living a block from the church.

Director, Editor, Camera Operator

feMC - Dir. Chelsea Hernandez

Short Documentary (7min) - Waitress by day, rapper by night, KB the Boo Bonic is one of the few female MCs attempting to make a name for herself in the male-dominated world of hip-hop.

Director, Camera Operator, Editor

La Lupita - Dir. Ivete Lucas

Short film (10min) - A Mexican young man, new to the United States, falls in love for the first time at a flea market.

Production Manager

Straight to the Bone - Dir. Erik Mauck

Independent feature film (1hr 45min) - A young couple seems to be running on two different sets of tracks.

Co-Producer, Camera Operator

Cloud Juice - Dir. Erik Mauck, Chelsea Hernandez

Short Documentary (7min) - Richard Heinichen collects, bottles and sells rainwater. Here’s a look at his unique company, Tank Town. (Distributor: KLRU-TV)

Producer, Editor

Punsters Unite - Dir. Sally Bergom

Short Documentary (6min) - Punsters battle for the title of world's greatest wielder of the world's worst form of humor at Austin's annual World Championship Pun Off. (Distributor: CurrentTV)

Co-Producer, Camera Operator    

The American Experience: Eugene O’Neill - Dir. Ric Burns

TV series (56min episode) - The life and career of American playwright Eugene O’Neill (Distributor: PBS)

Research Intern