Bio

Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s “Young People Who Rock” for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and listed as one of the “Top Rising Asian American Directors” on IMDb. The fourth-generation Japanese American recently completed Mele Murals, a documentary on the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. Mele Murals was broadcasted on PBS and Al Jazeera, and has received 14 awards at film festivals around the world. His last film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings was broadcasted nationally on PBS and went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award, which was in competition with 12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station.

Nakamura’s trilogy of documentary films on the Japanese American experience, Yellow Brotherhood (2003), Pilgrimage (2007) and A Song for Ourselves (2009) have garnered over 20 awards.  Nakamura has a M.A. in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz, a B.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

EDUCATION

Master of Arts, Social Documentation
University of California, Santa Cruz

Bachelor of Arts, Asian American Studies, Summa Cum Laude
University of California, Los Angeles

AWARDS

  • Inspirational Filmmaker Award – Watsonville Film Festival, 2017
  • Best Documentary Feature, Mele Murals – One Nation Film Festival, 2017
  • Best Documentary Feature, Mele Murals – Asian American Film Festival of Oregon, 2017
  • Best Documentary Feature, Mele Murals – Guam International Film Festival, 2016
  • Best Documentary Feature, Mele Murals – Monarch Film Festival, 2016
  • Best Documentary Audience Award, Mele Murals – Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival, 2017
  • Best Documentary Audience Award, Mele Murals – Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, 2016
  • Best Documentary Audience Award, Mele Murals – CAAMFest San Jose, 2016
  • Special Jury Award, Mele Murals – International Pacific Documentary Film Festival, 2017
  • Special Jury Award, Mele Murals – Hawai’i International Film Festival, 2016
  • Special Jury Award, Mele Murals – Santa Cruz Film Festival, 2016
  • Best Editing, Mele Murals – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2017
  • Official Selection – American Film Showcase, Mele Murals, 2017
  • Keepers of Culture Award, Mele Murals – Fist Up Film Festival, 2017
  • Remi Special Jury Award, Mele Murals – WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, 2017
  • National Endowment for the Arts Media Arts grant for production of Mele Murals, 2015
  • Emerging Filmmaker Award, Sacramento Japanese Film Festival, 2014
  • Film Audience Award, Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings – Gotham Independent Film Awards, 2013
  • Best Documentary Audience Award, Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2013
  • Best Editor, Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2013
  • Best Documentary Audience Award, Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings – Ashland Independent Film Festival 2013
  • Honorable Mention, Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings – Columbus International Film & Video Festival 2012
  • Honorable Mention, Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings – UrbanWorld Film Festival, 2012
  • Best Medium Length Film, Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings – DocuWest Film Festival 2012
  • Official Selection – American Film Showcase, Pilgrimage, 2012
  • Awarded National Endowment for the Arts filmmaker’s grant for production of Jake Shimaburo: Life On Four Strings, 2011
  • JACL Pacific Southwest District 2010 Community Honoree Award
  • Best Documentary Short, A Song For Ourselves – RiverRun Film Festival, 2010
  • Gold Remi Award, A Song For Ourselves – WorldFest-Houston International Film & Video Festival, 2010
  • Best Documentary Film,  A Song For Ourselves – Pomona Valley Film Festival, 2010
  • Audience Choice Award, A Song For Ourselves – Pomona Valley Film Festival, 2010
  • Gold Kahuna Award, A Song For Ourselves – Honolulu Film Festival, 2010
  • Best Documentary Film, , A Song For Ourselves – Bronx Independent Film Festival, 2009
  • Best Documentary Short Film, A Song For Ourselves – Urbanworld Film Festival, 2009
  • Best Short Documentary, A Song For Ourselves – DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, 2009
  • Cine Golden Eagle Award, A Song For Ourselves – Documentary Short, Independent Division, 2009
  • Special Jury Award, A Song For Ourselves – San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2009
  • Best Short Film, A Song For Ourselves – Austin Asian American Film Festival, 2009
  • Honorable Mention, A Song For Ourselves – Columbus International Film + Video Festival, 2009
  • 30 Most Influential Asian American Under 30, Angry Asian Man.com, 2009
  • Ebata Memorial Community Artist Award, 2009
  • CNN’s Young People Who Rock, 2008
  • Official Selection – Sundance Film Festival, Pilgrimage – Sundance Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Director, Pilgrimage – Show Off Your Shorts Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Documentary, Pilgrimage – Show Off Your Shorts Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Editor, Pilgrimage – Show Off Your Shorts Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Historical Short Film, Pilgrimage – FirstGlance Film Festival, 2008
  • New Directors / New Visions Award, Pilgrimage – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2007
  • Best Documentary Short Jury Prize, Pilgrimage – Sacramento Film & Music Festival, 2007
  • Best Documentary Short, Pilgrimage – Asian Film Festival of Dallas, 2007
  • Best Student Film, Pilgrimage – Honolulu International Film Festival, 2007
  • Best Documentary Short Award, Yellow Brotherhood – San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2004
  • Chancellor’s Service Award – University of California, Los Angeles, June 2003
  • Yuri Kochiyama Award – University of California, Los Angeles, June 2003
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, 2003
  • Golden Key Honor Society, 2002
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2000