Aaron Yoo (voice of Stanley) has starred in Gamer, Friday the 13th, and opposite Michael Cera in Sony/Mandate’s Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Upcoming releases include Ten Year and She Wants Me. Other films include the indies The Good Guy and Labor Pains. The craziness started in April 2007 when Yoo starred opposite Shia LaBeouf in the hit film Disturbia for Dreamworks. The film remained in the number one spot at the box office for three consecutive weeks. Later in 2007 he played the lead character in the World War II drama concerning the Japanese incarceration in American Pastime. After receiving accolades at the Sundance Film Festival, Rocket Science hit theatres in August of that same year. While at Sundance with Rocket Science, Yoo landed a lead role opposite Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey in his second box office topping movie, 21,which is based on the best selling book “Bringing Down the House.” The Wackness, starring Sir Ben Kingsley, premiered in Sundance 08 and won the Dramatic Audience Award. Yoo’s guest-appearances on television include “The Closer,” “Drop Dead Diva,” “ER,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Love Monkey,” and “Ed.” He also had a recurring role on the Tom Fontana created series, “The Bedford Diaries.”
Yoo’s career began Off-Broadway where he starred in U.S. and world premiere productions including “Where Do We Live” at the Vineyard Theatre, “wAve” and “Savage Acts” for the Ma-Yi Theatre Company, “Cellophane” at the Flea Theatre, and the National Asian-American Theatre Co.’s “Fuenteovejuna”. Other New York credits include “The Gifted Program” at the LAByrinth and “Karaoke Stories” for the Imua! Theatre Company. Born in Dallas and raised in East Brunswick, NJ, Yoo earned a BA in Theatre from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a soccer fiend and holds a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Amy Hill (voice of Sach) has television credits, which include “Grey‘s Anatomy,” “Glee,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Friends” and “Seinfeld”. She might best be remembered for her groundbreaking role as “grandma” in “All American Girl” with Margaret Cho now available on DVD. She co-starred with Mike Myers in “Cat in the Hat” and with Adam Sandler in “Fifty First Dates.” while her voice work includes “King of the Hill,” “Lilo & Stitch,” “Jackie Chan Adventures,” “American Dad” as well as on Nickelodeon’s new animated series “Kung Fu Panda.” Amy’s extensive stage experience has included Broadway as well as critical acclaim for her autobiographical solo work. Her HBO series, “Enlightened” with Laura Dern, was recently picked up for a second season.
Sharon Yamato (co-director, producer and writer) is a writer/filmmaker who wrote, produced and directed Out of Infamy: Michi Nishiura Weglyn, a film funded by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Project and shown at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Sedona Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Calgary Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, and Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival. The film received an Honorary Jury Mention at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. She is the author of the book, Moving Walls: Preserving the Barracks of America’s Concentration Camps, and co-author of Jive Bomber: A Sentimental Journey, a memoir of Bruce T. Kaji, the founding president of the Japanese American National Museum. As a consultant to the Japanese American National Museum, she has served as editor of the Museum Magazine and project director of The Encyclopedia of Japanese American History from A to Z (revised edition), An American Son: The Story of George Aratani, and More than a Game: Sport in the Japanese American Community.She has written articles for the Los Angeles Times and is currently a columnist for the Rafu Shimpo. She graduated from UCLA with bachelors and masters degrees in English.
Ann Kaneko (co-director, producer, editor, cinematographer) is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker, fluent in Japanese and Spanish. She was selected as Best Emerging Feature Documentary Director at the New York Asian American International Film Festival for her Fulbright and Durfee Foundation supported film, Against the Grain: An Artist’s Survival Guide to Perú, which highlights the life and work of four Peruvian political artists. For the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women, Kaneko wrote and directed 100% Human Hair, a zany musical set in a Korean-owned wig shop. Her feature-length documentary, Overstay, about foreign workers in Japan and funded by the Japan Foundation and Hoso Bunka Foundation, has been presented extensively at festivals, museums and universities. She has shot and edited numerous segments for the Newshour With Jim Lehrer, and her personal work has been televised here and abroad. Kaneko has also produced media installations and videos for the Skirball Cultural Center, Japanese American National Museum, the Getty Center, the California Endowment, SEIU-UHW and UNITEHERE Local 11. She has produced short fiction and experimental films as well as media pieces for live performance and received a Lester Horton Dance Award for set design with Nesting Dolls Dance Company. She received an MFA in film directing from UCLA.
Joanne Oppenheim (producer, writer) is the author of more than 50 books for and about children. She is also the author of Stanley Hayami, Nisei Son, a book produced originally with a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Project (CCLPEP). Her young adult book,Dear Miss Breed, True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration (Scholastic) won the Carter G. Woodson Award from the National Council of Social Studies Teachers as Best Book of 2007 for the Secondary Grades and was on the Best for Teens List of the New York Public Library, as well as many other state reading lists. It was recently translated into Japanese. Oppenheim adapted the book as a play for the San Diego Public Library where it was produced by the Asian Story Theater with a grant from the CCLPEP. Oppenheim travels regularly to do programs about her research and Japanese American books in schools, libraries, and organizations in many parts of the country. Her books for the younger children include the Have Your Seen Series (Scholastic), Bedtime for the Prince (Barefoot Books), and many other titles that have been chosen as Outstanding Science Books of the Year lists, and for the Motts Literacy Award, Children’s Book of the Month, and Junior Literary Guildselections. Her books for parents have been published by Pantheon, Random House, and HarperCollins. In 1990 she and her daughter founded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, an organization that reviews children products. Her byline has appeared in the NY Times Book Review, Parents, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Working Mother, Redbook, Baby Talk, and Family Circle. As a contributor to NBC’s Today Show, she appeared monthly for many years to speak about children’s media. Her daughter/partner now does the appearances on Today. Oppenheim has also appeared as a child development expert on Good Morning America, Oprah, CBS Early Show, ABC News, CNN, & Nightline.
Walt Louie (editor) has been editing for over 30 years. His experience is as diverse as his expertise in the field of broadcast and communication arts. He has worked on award-winning shows and documentaries, films, sitcoms, trailers, sports programs and is currently working as a commercial editor in Los Angeles. He has taught numerous editing classes and workshops for Loyola Marymount University, UCLA, Santa Monica College and the University of Honolulu. He is the owner/editor of Flash Cuts (www.flashcuts.com), a commercial/promo editorial company in Los Angeles.
Hedy Yudaw (animator) is an independent filmmaker, artist, illustrator and animator who has a special skill of portraying indigenous art forms. She grew up as a member of the Truku tribe in Taiwan and was the first from her village to study character animation at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) from where she graduated in 2004. She designed the logos, poster, and T-shirt designs for the 2004 Indigenous Heritage Festival in Orlando, Florida. Her award-winning art displays a perspective from a marginalized people who continue to struggle today for equality and justice. Recently, she received her MFA degree in Animation from the UCLA School of Film and Theater. Her thesis, Voice, has been an official selection at Beloit International Film Festival 2012 and was invited to participate in the Múmia – Underground World Animation Festival in Brazil. Hedy currently lives and works as a freelance illustrator, animator and game video editor in Los Angeles. Recent projects include Hasbro’s children’s book Hungry Hippo’s Hunt for Fun and Goblin Legion HD.
Dave Iwataki (composer) has created projects that serve the many diverse communities that make up Los Angeles. Among these projects are “J-Town/Bronzeville Suite,” a three-part suite about two ethnically different communities that shared Little Tokyo for a brief time during World War II; “Project J, Justice,” founded by Iwataki to record “Barbed Wire & Hip Hop,” a hip hop CD about the Japanese American detention camps; and after the Rodney King riots, Iwataki created and composed music for ”The Healing Drums,” a group of African American, Asian American and Latino percussionists designed to show how people of different ethnicities can work together harmoniously. Iwataki composed scores for the films: Out of Infamy, co-directed by Sharon Yamato and Nancy Kapitanoff, and American Fusion, directed by Frank Lin. For the Watase Media Arts Center at the Japanese American National Museum, he scored the films, Harsh Canvas: The Art & Life of Henry Sugimoto, and Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Grey. For television, Iwataki wrote and produced the score for the PBS mini-series, JAPAN: Memoirs of a Secret Empire. Iwataki also tours with Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis and Peabo Bryson for whom Dave recently completed an orchestral arrangement.