Saturday, October 6, 2012


From a stressful and overwhelming weekend last week, to an amazingly rewarding week this week. It's amazing how life's circumstance can change so quickly.

A few weeks ago I found out a film I had made my last year in school was being nominated for a regional emmy. I quickly contained any excitement, thinking that a student doc wasn't likely to win.

With so much going on in life, I felt the need to take the weekend to ponder and reflect over general conference, instead of going to the award ceremony.

So what ended up happening?

The last few days was filled with sushi, spirituality, and friends then topped off by a text that read something like this:

Since I wasn't there to give an acceptance speech, I'm going to use my blog to do so :)

First, Brad.
After seeing some of the Beehive Stories in a film panel years ago, I remember introducing myself to Brad as a film student with interest in docs. The following year Brad approached me and asked me if I would be interested in directing an episode on Millard County. Brad has and continue to mentor me through my documentary film career and I will always be grateful for his encouragement and counsel.

Sharon. Tom.
Just as influential to me as Brad. Sharon was my advisor throughout film school, and Tom, though I didn't get to know him until my last semester in school, has been a great example. These two have helped shaped me both in and outside the classroom to be the type of person and filmmaker I want to be. Both have always showed confidence in me as a person and filmmaker when I needed it the most.

Sisi. Dawn. James.
My friends during this crazy semester when things were quite the roller coaster ride. The list of what these three have done for me would be too great for a single blog post, but in just a few lines...Sisi, for really getting to know me and understanding. Dawn for always listening. James for being the best roommate both in Japan and in college. You three know me better than I probably know myself. For having faith in my ability to succeed in any path I chose, and especially supporting me in in film, I am forever grateful for your support, faith, and friendship.

I can't thank you enough for taking a phone call from a stranger and allowing me to be a part of your family's story. I loved every minute of getting to know all of you!

Thank you Jane for all you do to preserve and educate people about Topaz! and for introducing me to Lorraine. I appreciated your hospitality while we were there to shoot. I hope more people will take the time to visit the site and see the wonderful artifacts that remind us how we can learn from history!

and Skylar & Micah
Without Skylar this piece would not be what it is. He pretty much did all the work while I...watched. Skylar I felt really related to George and the whole story involving the internment in a very impressive way. His maturity and understanding is very apparent in the edit. Micah is a musical genius. He really adds so much personality to each of the Beehive Stories, complimenting each character. I look forward to collaborating more in the future!

I'm sure I'm forgetting to thank so many more people...but you get the picture. So many people are involved in one short doc. Thank you to everyone!


  1. Awesome Kenji! Way to go man. When we get together next lets watch this so called emmy winner. Who knows, in a few years, maybe I'll be trying to sneak into your film at Sundance :)

  2. Thanks Kenji! Again, CONGRATULATIONS.

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