Megumi Nishikura

Producer/Director/Videographer

Megumi is passionate about documentary storytelling. A 2002 graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of Arts Film and Television program, she has been working steadily in the documentary film industry, first in post production as an assistant editor and editor, and from 2007, as a freelance documentary producer and director. Most of her recent documentaries have been for the United Nations and various foundations and NGOs on global and social issues. In 2009, she began to re-explore issues of multiculturalism, diversity, and identity. She worked with the Loving Day Project—an educational community organization which celebrates the legalization of interracial marriage in the US―to produce a video about their flagship celebration held each year in New York City. Her passion is to use the medium of film to remind people of our common humanity.

Lara Perez Takagi

Director/Co-Producer/Videographer

Lara was born in Tokyo, and raised in various cities around the world. Her father is Spanish and her mother is Japanese. She graduated with a degree in Audiovisual Communications and Multimedia Science at the Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid, in 2005. As her appetite for cinematography continued to flourish, she returned to Tokyo on a Government Scholarship and explored her dual identity. She worked as a freelance production assistant in various Japanese production companies while she completed a MA in the Multimedia Science and Arts area in Waseda Universityʼs Graduate School of GITS. Here she directed and produced her first art-documentary “Madrid x Tokyo” that portrayed the vision of a person who grew up between two different countries and cultures. The film was screened at the opening week of the Cervantes Institute in Tokyo in 2009, and other universities throughout Spain. Still curious about the experiences of other hafus like herself, she teamed up with Marcia and Megumi to start the production of Hafu.

Marcia Yumi Lise

Researcher and Thematic Adivser

Born between a “Japanese” mother and an “American” father, Marcia was raised in Kanagawa and Tokyo, Japan. Marcia moved to the UK in 2001and studied sociology at London Guildhall University, after which she completed MA in Social Research at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her research interest lies in the area of race, ethnicity, nationhood and identity. Marcia is also the co-founder of the Hafu Project, a collaborative project of photography and research exploring the identity of half Japanese people. As one of the leading researchers on the subject of hafus, Marcia’s expertise is indispensable when it comes to poignantly addressing the many complexities that will arise in making this film. Three of the five characters selected for the film have come out of the already 60 plus interviews she has conducted.

Jilann Spitzmiller

Executive Producer

Jilann is a dedicated and experienced documentary filmmaker and mentor with award-winning work that has been shown in over 50 countries around the globe on prominent outlets such as PBS, BBC, Sundance Channel, Aljazeera and Canal+. She most recently won a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for her work in the POV PBS documentary, CRITICAL CONDITION, which she co-produced and co-directed. She produced SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS which premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, and co-directed, produced and edited HOMELAND which aired on National PBS and continues to air worldwide. Jilann is a 3-time recipient of ITVS funding and has twice received Sundance Documentary Funding. She has also freelanced extensively in the documentary field, directing, writing and shooting for the documentary series MEDICAL DIARY on Discovery Health Channel and producing, writing and directing for the NBC documentary series LIFE MOMENTS..

Aika Miyake

Editor

Aika Miyake was born in Aichi prefecture in Japan. She studied and worked as a film maker in the US for 4 years and has been a Avid/FCP editor since 2006 in Tokyo. She has edited various TV shows, commercials, and documentaries. She is passionate about creative fun projects, especially those with socially positive messages. She believes in the power of film to improve our quality of life. Aika is excited about her future in the entertainment industry, looking to meet ever more inspiring professionals and continue to grow her vast skill set.

Winton Yuichiro White

Music Composer

Born in New York, raised in Japan,Winton Yuichiro White is a published composer with the versatility ranging from writing for orchestral instruments, to vocal ensembles, and even dance groups or film. Composing since the age of 16, he pursued his studies of music composition in California where he attended San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Biola University. He has had performances of his works by professional members of the Milwaukee, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Colorado, National Symphony and other colleagues in Japan, Singapore, France, and throughout the USA.  During his time in the greater Los Angeles area he was active as a freelance tuba player and bassist.  Still active as a performer, Winton is now a freelance vocalist singing tenor and countertenor all across the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a music copyist.  His music and performance updates can be found at www.wintonwhite.com.