University of Pittsburgh Japan Documentary Film Award

Our Team


Advisory Board:

Soda Kazuhiro, Japanese documentary filmmaker living and working in New York City, is known for his observational style of filmmaking. His productionMental (Seishin) (2008, 135 minutes), which focuses on the lives of patients in a small mental clinic Chorale Okayama in Japan. won best documentary at the Pusan International Film Festival and outstanding documentary at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. His more recent work, Peace (2010, 75 minutes), opened the  DMZ International Documentary Film Festival and later won the Audience Award at Tokyo Filmex, Buyens-Chagoll Award at Visions du Reel,and Best Documentary Award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Robert Clift, documentary filmmaker and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, has directed several recent productions. His recent work, Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity,  was named by the American Library Association (ALA) as one of the most notable nonfictional films of the year. Clift’s latest film, Road Comics: Big Work on Small Stages, directed with filmmaker Hillary Demmon and produced by Susan Seizer, has played at more than a dozen festivals and conferences, including the Cincinnati Film Festival, the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival, the Central States Anthropological Society Annual Meeting, and the Landlocked Film Festival.


Selection Committee

Elizabeth Oyler

Charles Exley

Kay Shimizu


Festival Consultant

Kirsten Strayer