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Akiko Izumitani is a female director/writer who was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan. After graduating from high school, she came to the United States to pursue her dream of becoming a director in Hollywood. 


Akiko first earned recognition through her feature-length documentary, “Silent Shame” (2010). It won numerous awards worldwide, including Best Feature in the Beijing Movie Festival, and has a screening at an Oscar Qualified film festival. 


Several years later, Akiko directed “Kung Fu Date,” which won the Remi Award at the Houston Film Festival, and “Sukiyaki with Love” (Semi-Finalist of NBCUniversal Shortcuts). Her action short film, “The Other Side,” won The Best Short Film at the Sacramento Asian Film Festival and ECA Award by ICG and had a screening sponsored by ICG at DGA. 


Her latest film, “Yae: The Blind Samurai Woman,” was screened in notable film festivals, including the Austin Film Festival. She also won the Best Short Film at the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival and the Reel Sisters Spirit Award at the Oscar-qualified Reel Sisters Film Festival. “Yae: Blind Samurai” was released on YouTube and had over 560,000 views, and it received an enormous amount of compliments from audiences worldwide. Her co-writer and Akiko also wrote a series pilot and its bible based on the film and its series bible. 


Akiko was a finalist of the Women of Color Commercial Directing Program (Top 10 out of 100+) in 2020, a semi-finalist of NBC Female Forward (Top 20 out of 1000) in 2018, Sony Directors Program (Top 25 out of 250) in 2017, and 2019, and ABC Director’s Program in 2014. Akiko was selected as one of the top rising Asian American filmmakers in 2013.


Akiko also studied screenwriting and was taught man-to-man by Monte Merrick (Writer of Mr. Baseball and Memphis Belle) and Jonathan Tsuneishi (A script analyst at 20 Century Fox.) She is an active member of the Santa Monica Screenwriting Group to exchange notes with Nicole Perlman (Writer of Captain Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy), Ben Kim (Writer of Queen Sugar), and James ‘Doc’ Mason (Writer of The Cage).


During the pandemic, she became a set production assistant in Bullet Train, where she also worked as a set Japanese consultant to advise a stunt coordinator, a set decoration department, and prop masters. She also helped Michael Shannon and Andrew Koji with the Japanese dialect. 


Akiko also works as an English dubbing Supervising Producer for popular animes including Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. 


  • Finalist of Women of Color directing program 2020 (Top 10 over 100)

  • Semi-Finalist for NBC Female Forward 2018 (Top 20 over 1000)

  • Sony Diversity Directing Program 2017 and 2019 (Top 25 over 250),

  • ABC Diversity Directing Program 2014

  • NBCUniversal Short Cuts 2013 (Top 14 over 200)

Yae: Blind Samurai Woman
Co-Writer, Producer, and Director

Dances with Films Film Festival

Official Selection

Durban International Film Festival

Official Selection

Asian American International Film Festival

Official Selection

Flicker's Rhode Island International Film Festival

Official Selection

HollyShorts Film Festival

Official Selection

DTLA Film Festival

Winner of Best Film

LA Femme Film Festival

Official Selection

Austin Film Festival

Official Selection

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival

​Winner of Reel Sisters Spirit Award 

Japan Film Film Festival Los Angeles

Best Action Award 

The Other Side: Short Film

Story, Producer and Director


Winner of Emerging Cinematographer Award by International Cinematographers Guild (ICG)


CAAM (San Francisco Asian Film Festival)

Official Selection


Los Angeles Pacific Asian Film Festival

Official Selection


Sacramento Asian Film Festival

Winner of the Best Narrative Short Film

Winner of the Best Cinematography


Short Shorts and Asia (Oscar Qualified Film Festival)

Official Selection


HollyShorts Film Festival

Official Selection


Aruba Film Festival

Official Selection


Bali International Film Festival

Official Selection

Sukiyaki with Love: Short Film

Writer, Producer, Editor, and Director


NBC Universal Shortcuts

Semi Finalist


Emerging Filmmaker’s Forum

Official Selection


CAAM (San Francisco Asian Film Festival)

Official Selection


Kung Fu Date: Short Film

Writer, Producer, Editor, and Director


Houston International World-Fest

Winner – Gold Remi Award (Romantic Comedy)


Raindance Film Festival (UK) (Oscar qualified film festival)

Official Selection


San Diego Asian American Film Festival

Official Selection

Silent Shame: Feature Documentary

Writer, Producer, Editor, and Director


Beijing International Movie Festival

Winner - Golden Duck Awards


Beijing International Film Festival

Official Selection


Action On Film International Film Festival

Winner – Best Political Statement Movie

First Runner Up – Best Documentary


End of the Pier International Film Festival

Winner - Best International Feature Film


Accolade Competition

Winner – Best of Show


San Gabriel International Film Festival

Winner – Best Feature Documentary


Myrtle Beach Film Festival

Official Selection


The Foyle Film Festival

Official Selection


Indie Spirits Film Festival

Official Selection


Hotta Liesenberg Saito & Co  - Director – Asahi Homecast

Megatronics  - Director – Asahi Homecast

Asahi Ryokuken  - Director – Asahi Homecast

NEX-USA  - Director – Asahi Homecast


Script Writers Group Santa Monica

Alliance of Women Directors


2010 - present
2010 - present
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