The Birth of Saké


ERIK SHIRAI / Director

Erik Shirai is a NYC filmmaker working around the world on renowned documentaries and TV shows. Erik has worked as a cameraman on the Emmy award winning TV show No Reservation with Anthony Bourdain and recently his food films were featured at TED conference in NYC. In 2008, Erik launched his own production company Cebu Osani Creative as a foundation for his creative ideals, to create films that are compelling, original and visually cinematic. Erik’s main goal is to produce one-of-a-kind content with integrity and respect.



Masako Tsumura received an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School University and worked as a local producer for a variety of major Japanese TV networksincluding Fuji TV, TV Tokyo, and NHK. She was the editor for ‘Arakimentari’ (2004), a feature documentary about Nobuyoshi Araki, a Japanese photographer. ‘Arakimentari’ won the Best Editing Award at the Honolulu International Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival. In 2008, she completed ‘Fire Under the Snow’, her own feature documentary about the Ven. Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan monk who was imprisoned and tortured for 33 years under Chinese rule. ‘Fire Under the Snow’ was shown at dozens of film festivals around the world, including Tribeca Film Festival, Pusan, and IDFA. The film was distributed theatrically in Japan in 2010.



Takeshi is a Japanese filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. He’s received support from Berlinale Talents, National Board of Review, and Independent Filmmaker Project. The feature documentary he edited, “The Birth of Sake” (2015) was selected for the world documentary competition at Tribeca Film Festival. His directorial debut narrative feature film, “Out of My Hand”, was made in association with Liberia Movie Union, an affiliate of the Liberian government and selected as one of ten projects for the 2014 IFP’s Narrative Feature Lab. Out of My Hand had its World Premiere at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival.



Frederick is a freelance film editor based in New York City. He has worked on several award-winning documentaries, including the Emmy-nominated feature THE CITY DARK, which aired on PBS as part of the POV series in 2012, and THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. He graduated from the Boston University College of Communication, magna cum laude, with a B.S. in Film and Television.


KEN KAIZU / Composer

Ken is a Tokyo born music composer/arranger. He has been making music for commercials, animations, films, theaters, games, Japanese pops and fashion shows. Currently, he studies STAT Alexander Technique’s teacher training and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) so that he can apply those methods to music composing.


TARA HOHENBERGER / Project Manager

Tara Hohenberger has worked with numerous Japanese designers, artisans and small manufacturers to introduce and promote their products abroad. As the Public Relations Project Manager for Kobebased Felissimo Design House, in collaboration with the JAPAN BRAND initiative, she planned exhibitions, events and media campaigns to raise awareness of Japan’s traditional creative products and industries.