Meet the Instructors

Jeffrey Jousan

Born in New Jersey USA

Director of the International Multimedia Course -Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages 1994-2000

Technology Manager -

Monolith Technologies 2000-2002

Representative Director -

CrossWire Co.,Ltd.

Film Director, audio recordist and producer, cameraman, translator, business consultant, announcer, singer song writer, QiGong instructor

Yu Shimawaki

Born in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture

Graduated from Hachinohe National College of Technology and  worked at a Communications Infrastructure company

Joined board of directors at Itonabu Ishinomaki. Self taught Photographer and Videographer

Working freelance producing projects for web and print, producing events and directing producing documentary films. 

Ivan Kovac

Born in Australia

Cameraman/Director of Photography

Ivan has been working with Jeffrey since 2011 producing films in the 311 disaster area as well as films for NHK World. 

He is a talented camera man and a master of telling visual stories in his own trademark way. 

He is also the proud owner of a cutting edge RED camera. 

Makoto Sugano

 Makoto has engaged in producing television programs in Japan, since 2001. He has served as a director and also as a producer of documentaries and traveling programs. He lived in Hawaii, Chicago in USA from 4 to 9 years old and can speak English. Also this year he co-produced a documentary "Beyond the Waves" (NHK BS-1) pursuing Bangladesh's first female surfer by international collaboration between Bangladesh and Japan.



Next Door to dream + (TBS)

BS History (BS Premium)



A tale of  “Madonna of Yarnwinder” (NHK)

Ian Thomas Ash

Born in America, Ian Thomas Ash earned an MA in Film and Television Production at the University of Bristol, UK, in 2005. His first feature documentary, ‘the ballad of vicki and jake’ (2006), received the Prix du Canton Vaud prize at the 2006 Visions du Reél International Documentary Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland. Ian’s two feature documentaries about children living in areas of Fukushima contaminated by the 2011 nuclear meltdown, ‘In the Grey Zone‘ (2012) and ‘A2-B-C‘ (2013), have been screened at festivals around the world where they have received multiple awards.


Ian has lived in Japan for a total of 13 years and is currently in post-production for the feature-length version of his film about end-of-life care.

Motohiko Umezawa

Born in Tokyo

moonfactory,Inc - Representative Director

Graduated from Tokyo University of Agriculture and since he was good with computers, started working at a foreign computer manufacture. He started using the Apple Macintosh512k when he was in school and got into music composition and other creative work. Now he is running a content company. HIs special talent is to be able to look at one section of a synthesizer or just listen to the sound and guess the Make and Model. He loves synthesizers and bugs! "May the world become more and more clear and shining everyday!"

Barbara Barnett

Born and raised in Texas, Barbara was a broadcasting major at the University of Texas when videotape was 4 inches wide and the recording/playback equipment required a very large room. Her hands on history in video production as a producer/director/writer/editor/actress spans some 20 years including owning her own small production company in New York City.


Graduate work in Philosophy Psychology, Education and Theology at Columbia University and Union Seminary led her into extensive work with addictions becoming director of an agency for addiction as a family illness. She works extensively with trauma and stress.


Her visual arts career expanded into the healing arts as a spiritual guide, Dr. of Alphabiotics(brain balancing), Reiki master, Qi Gong practitioner, Korean Dahn Hak Yoga Instructor and a deep relationship with Native American teachings.  Creating a program called RAIN/YO SOY (Resilient Assets Integrating into Nature/ I Am) for public Montessori School teachers, para professionals, staff, students, and parents. The focus was  brain balancing, stress reduction and reclaiming self.


Rooted in her background as a visual arts person, her internal question is always "Do I create things for people to see or see things in people?"   Her answer is always "Both!"

Eric McEver

Raised in Oklahoma, filmmaker Eric McEver relocated to Tokyo during college to pursue a passion for Noh theatre. While working variously as an actor, translator, game developer, and animation producer, he developed an offbeat cinematic vision fusing the languages and idiosyncrasies of his two homes. 


Eric recently completed the shorts "Paleonaut," a time travel romance inspired by his lifelong affinity for paleontology, and "A Utopia," a documentary chronicling a suicide-obsessed Japanese artist. 


He is currently developing the features "00:16 to Shinjuku," a dark comedy about a subway bound for Hell, "Yako," a magical realist take on jidaigeki, and “Emi’s World,” a dramedy about a manga artist who falls in love with one of her characters against the backdrop of WWII.


Video updates of his work can be found at

Nick Uemura

In 1986, Nick Uemura debut in the film industry with independent feature film "To Sleep so as to Dream". And produced many of Music Video at Sony Music Entertainment, 1990's epic film "Heaven and Earth", and "Scary True Stories" series. 1995 start producing feature film and TV commercial film at Los Angeles. 2010 to 2014 produced TV commercials with Keisuke Honda. In 2017 Produced director Masahiro Kobayashi's "Lear on the Shore" with star Tatsuya Nakadai and it's in theaters now.

Photo by Mark Reay
Photo by Mark Reay

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