Saturday, October 31, 2020

David Plath Media Award commendation for "Sending Off"


Extremely honoured to receive this commendation for my documentary 「おみおくり〜Sending Off〜」from the Society for East Asia Anthropology's David Plath Media Award.

"The Award Committee was deeply moved by the film and applauds the intimate ethnographic lens brought to bear on a personal and often private subject....the film explores not just aging, but gender roles and the ethics of care in Japan."



Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Guest Lecture at Kyoto University

I am extremely honoured to have been invited to present a guest lecture today at Kyoto University for Prof. Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano’s lecture series “Transcultural Cinema Forum” attended both by in-person students in Kyoto and online students in Heidelberg, Germany. 


Friday, September 25, 2020

"Easy Japanese" Video Series on the News

I am extremely honoured that scenes from our latest "Easy Japanese" video series were featured on this evening’s national news at 7PM on NHK 1.

Tonight’s news report coincided with this afternoon’s release of the 10-part educational series I directed about “Easy Japanese in Medical Settings” for the research team of 順天堂/Juntendo Univ's Dr. Yuko Takeda, Sacred Heart University’s Dr. Kazunari Iwata, Teikyo University Graduate School of Public Health's Dr. Hirono Ishikawa and NPO CINGA’s Midori Nii.

I am so grateful to our extremely talented production team:

Daniel Ndevu, production coordinator
Hitomi Nakatani, illustrator
Jeremy Yamamura, animator
Komiya Tetsuro, composer/ sound mixer
株式会社 栃木プロジェクトプロ narration/ animation
The Third Eye Corp’s Tanaka Sakae, production management
and Hemant Singh, director of photography/ editor who accomplished the neck-breaking and eyeball bursting task of editing nearly 75 minutes of blue screen compositing in lightning speed. He is a magician, miracle-worker and gentleman.

More about the video series in the official press release:


Saturday, September 12, 2020

"Boys for Sale" screens at OAG House in Tokyo

I am extremely grateful to have been able to attend this evening’s screening of Boys For Sale, the first public in-person screening of a film I produced since the pandemic began. With social distancing in place, the screening was fully booked. The event was part of the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) interdisciplinary lecture series “Gender and Sexuality in East Asia: Cultural Studies and Social Science Perspectives”.

Prior to the screening, the composers of the film’s soundtrack Syamisenist Jack and Komiya Tetsuro played music from the film live. And Ko, one of the film’s protagonists, joined me for a post-screening discussion. My gratitude to all who attended and to the organizers for making the event possible.

Friday, July 17, 2020

"Sending Off" to screen in NYC's Japan Cuts

"Sending off" is streaming from TODAY (July 17) until July 30 in the US! 

I am extremely honoured "Sending Off" has been selected to screen in the 2020 JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film! Due to COVID-19, the festival will be online, but this means the entire program of films will be available to stream for anyone in the US!

From the catalogue: "Capturing the process of dying as unobtrusively as possible and with absolute sensitivity..." 


And I have the additional honour of taking part in the panel "New Approaches to Documentary from Japan".

PANEL (free):

UPDATE July 27: Grateful for this Windows on Worlds review of "Sending Off":

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

"Sending Off" to be broadcast on PBS Guam

金曜日グアムにてテレビ放送!!! I am extremely honoured my 2019 film Sending Off will be broadcast on Friday (June 5) at 8PM on PBS Guam (Channel 12) as part of the Guam International Film Festival "Select Showcase". Who could have imagined when this was scheduled months ago that broadcasting more than 40 films from 15 countries in 18 episodes would be so important for audiences as they Stay at Home.




Thursday, April 30, 2020

"Easy Japanese" for Hard Times


Extremely proud to be a part of the creative team behind this video targeting heath care professionals testing non-native Japanese speakers for COVID-19.
It was awesome to work again with some of the artists behind the documentary Boys for Sale (2017) including N tani studio N谷工房 (illustrations), Jeremy Yamamura (animation) and Komiya Tetsuro (music/ sound effects). And thanks to my longtime friends at 株式会社 栃木プロジェクトプロ for the narration! 
While I usually edit from home, this was my first time to direct/ produce over the phone/ Zoom/ Skype.
The video was published today:


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Presenting at UC Berkeley

Extremely honoured to present some of my Fukushima-based film work and speak yesterday at the symposium "Imagining Post 3.11 Futures and Living with Anthropogenic Change" at UC Berkeley. My gratitude to sponsors UC Berkeley Center for Japanese Studies, Japan society for the promotion of science, and the UC Berkeley Institute of East Asian Studies. My gratitude also to Professor Hideaki Fujiki (pictured below) for leading the post-screening discussion and to conference organizer Professor Daniel O’Neill for the invitation to participate. 



And it was an additional honour to present an 80 minute lecture about my work for the 75 students of Documentary Voices (history, theory, changes in the genre) which is a mandatory class for all film and media majors.