Yoko Okumura is an award winning writer, director, producer and performer. Born in a Buddhist temple in Japan and raised in the frost bite of Minneapolis, Yoko now lives and works under the blazing sun of Los Angeles.
Yoko’s feature film project The Religion of Girlfriends, was accepted into the Women In Film/Sundance Institute Financing Intensive and was rated in the top 10% at the Nicholl's Academy Screenwriting Competition.
In 2014 she was the 1st place winner of the DGA Student Film Awards in the west region Asian American category for her AFI thesis film Kimi Kabuki. The film was also granted the Panavision New Filmmakers Program award, Austin Film Festival Jury Award, deadCenter Film Festival Best Student Film Award and Cinekink Best Comedy Short Award. She was a semi-finalist for the HBO Access Directing Fellowship.
Yoko is also co-creator of digital series FACETS, a documentary episodic about trailblazing women who have carved unique life paths for themselves. One of the episodes was selected for the Vimeo Staff Pick.
In 2015 Yoko was selected to direct a scripted series for Lifetime/A&E's new digital romance brand Fall Into Me. She directed two 50 minute series for them, The British Billionaire and Love Street.
Yoko's writing/directing work has been showcased at festivals internationally including Austin Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, St.Louis Film Festival and many more.
As a producer she's created numerous music videos and short films and also associate produced the Katie Couric documentary Fed Up which premiered at Sundance 2014 as well as the Silverdocs 2012 Best Feature winning documentary Only The Young.
She has several feature scripts in development and financing as well as several pilots.
Yoko has a unique educational background having been taught by top experimental filmmakers at the California Institute of Arts, as well as the top film/television directors/writers of Hollywood through the American Film Institute’s prestigious directing program. This holistic film education has given Yoko a passion for innovative story telling as well as the might for rigorous professionalism and high quality productions. She received the prestigious Tom Yoda scholarship to attend AFI and multiple scholarships for Calarts. She was a 2015 Visiting Artist at the Columbus College of Art and Design.
When not working in media arts Yoko dabbles in fire dancing, aerial arts and would love to learn how to do a backflip.