APRIL 25, 2017
After invitations to more than twenty international film festivals and theatrical screenings in more than forty U.S. cities, MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI is now viewable in the U.S. on Netflix. It's also available on DVD at Amazon and elsewhere, and will be released digitally on iTunes, Vimeo, Google, Amazon, Vudu.
Los Angeles Times' critic Kenneth Turan wrote: "Toshiro Mifune was a name to conjure with. A galvanic performer who was as present in his roles as anyone who ever lived, the legendary Japanese actor is the subject of MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI, a smart and thoughtful examination of who the man was and how he got that way. As directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Steven Okazaki, MIFUNE is thorough and insightful enough to enlighten the man's numerous fans and serve as an introduction to those unfamiliar with his gifts and his influence, which were huge."
SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI will have its world premiere at the TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL September 2-5 in Telluride, Colorado. Its European premiere will be at the BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL October 5-16; followed by the MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL October 6-16; FILM FEST GENT, Belgium, Oct 11-21: KYOTO INTERNATIONAL FILM & ART FESTIVAL October 13; SAO PAULO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL October 20 - November 2; HAWAI'I INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL November 3-13.
Steven Okazaki's feature-length documentary is a fascinating account of the evolution of the chanbara film; the social history that shaped Toshiro Mifune; and his extraordinary sixteen film collaboration with director Akira Kurosawa.
DECEMBER 11, 2015
Steven Okazaki's powerful HEROIN: CAPE COD, USA premieres on HBO on Monday, December 28, 2015, at 9 pm. It explores the exploding heroin epidemic hitting cities and small towns across America, following the harrowing highs and lows of eight young heroin addicts in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The film will have special screenings in Boston, Cape Cod and Washington D.C.: in Boston on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at the Revere Hotel, hosted by HBO and Governor Charlie Baker who has invited the entire state legislature to discuss the film; at a public screening at the Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable on Thursday, Dec. 17; and a screening for Congress hosted by White House drug czar Michael Botticelli and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Jan. 12.
September 1, 2015
Unavailable since the days of VHS, LIVING ON TOKYO TIME is finally out on DVD on MGM Limited Edition.
Steven Okazaki's low-budget comedy, which premiered at Sundance and was released theatrically by Skouras Pictures in 1987, tells the story of a Japanese dishwasher in San Francisco (Minako Ohashi) who marries a Japanese American janitor/rocker (Ken Nakazawa) so she can stay in the country.
The film began wth a grant from the American Film Institute. "AFI gave me total artistic freedom," said Okazaki, "so I threw out the original idea and called up John McCormick, who wrote the script with me; and Judi Nihei, who knew a bunch of actors, and said 'Let's make a movie!"
August 1, 2013
Steven Okazaki's APPROXIMATELY NELS CLINE is coming to a movie theater near you (if you live in New York City, Seattle or Missouri) as part of GUITAR INNOVATORS, a double-bill with IN SEARCH OF BLIND JOE DEATH: THE SAGA OF JOHN FAHEY. These two ear-opening music documentaries will screen at the Cinema Village in New York City from August 16-22 and at the Grand Illusion Cinema in Seattle, WA, from September 13-15. For more dates and venues, check with First Run Features.
APPROXIMATELY features the wildly inventive music of Nels Cline, best known as the lead guitarist of Wilco.
JULY 11, 2011
Steven Okazaki's ALL WE COULD CARRY premieres at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming on August 20, 2011. The short film explores a disturbing chapter in American history when the President and the nation let hysteria and racism override the Constitution. Twelve Nisei, children and young adults at the time, tell the story of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center where 14,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II.
JULY 8, 2009
Steven Okazaki's THE CONSCIENCE OF NHEM EN had its television premiere on HBO on July 8, 2009, at 8pm. The Academy Award®-nominated short documentary looks at silence and complicity through the haunting story of a young Khmer Rouge soldier who took ID photos of thousands of innocent people before they were killed. The Huffington Post called it "important, powerful and terrifying."
JANUARY 22, 2009
The Academy Award® nomination for "Best Short Documentary" for THE CONSCIENCE OF NHEM EN makes Steven Okazaki a four-time nominee. He received his first nomination in 1986 for the feature documentary UNFINISHED BUSINESS. In 1991, he won the Oscar® for DAYS OF WAITING, the story of Estelle Ishigo, one of the few Caucasians to be interned with the Japanese Americans during World War II. In 2006, he received his third nomination for THE MUSHROOM CLUB, which looks at the city and people of Hiroshima sixty years after the atomic bombing.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2008
WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN won television's most coveted prize, a Primetime Emmy for "Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking." Accepting the award, filmmaker Steven Okazaki stated that the film "honors fourteen Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors who remind us of the irreversible horror of nuclear weapons." He thanked HBO Documentary Films, Executive Producers Sheila Nevins and Robert Richter, and Supervising Producer Sara Bernstein.
JUNE 9, 2008
The Variety headline read "'Black Rain' Storms Banff" as WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN won three prizes at the Banff World TV Festival's Rockie Awards at a ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel in Alberta, Canada. The HBO documentary nabbed the international festival's Grand Prize, the History & Biography Award, and the "NHK Best Asian Program" Award.