The Team

  • Lawrence R. Hott


    Hott has been producing documentary films since 1978, when he left the practice of law to join Florentine Films. His awards include an Emmy, two Academy Award nominations, a George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award, The Erik Barnouw OAH History Award, five American Film Festival Blue Ribbons, fourteen CINE Golden Eagles, screenings at Telluride, and first-place awards from the San Francisco, Chicago, National Educational, and New England Film Festivals. He has produced and directed two dozen films for national PBS broadcast.

  • Dianne Fukami


    Fukami has produced, directed, and written more than a half-dozen documentaries on the Asian-American experience (mostly on Japanese-American history) which were broadcast on PBS stations throughout the U.S. Separate Lives, Broken Dreams, about the Chinese Exclusion Act, was nominated for a national Emmy Award; Starting Over: Japanese Americans After the War has received scholarly citations for its first-person anecdotes. Her most recent documentary, Stories From Tohoku, was showcased at CAAMFest in 2014 (formerly the San Francisco Asian International Film Festival) and screened at film festivals in New York and Los Angeles.

  • Debra Nakatomi


    Nakatomi is the founder of a strategic communications firm that for over 25 years has developed issue advocacy and educational campaigns on health, environmental, and social issues. The firm designs social and civic engagement campaigns utilizing the tools of media, messaging, and social media. Nakatomi’s documentary career began as co-producer of Stories From Tohoku, with Dianne Fukami in 2014, a film about the survivors of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan. The film aired on PBS and screened throughout the U.S. and Japan.

  • Ken Chowder


    Chowder has scripted over 30 documentary films broadcast on PBS, NBC, TBS, Discovery, AE, and BBC, and published three acclaimed novels with Harper/Collins. His films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, won the Primetime Emmy, Columbia/Dupont Prize, Peabody Award, and been Best Documentary at many festivals, including the American Film Festival. Credits include 7 films for PBS’ The American Experience, one American Masters, and 7 National Geographic films. His articles have appeared in Smithsonian, Audubon, American Heritage, and more.

  • Robin Mortarotti

    Director of Photography

    Mortarotti is an award-winning filmmaker with over thirty-five years of experience as producer and director of photography on feature, documentary, commercial, and promotional films. Robin has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including C.I.N.E. Golden Eagle, the Council of International Non-theatrical Events, the U.S. Industrial Film Festival, Columbia/DuPont and Sigma Delta Chi awards, as well as a local daytime Emmy, an Academy Award nomination for “Enrique’s Story” and numerous awards from Eastman Kodak Company.

  • Hailey Yang


    Yang was a news editor for Link Media in San Francisco, California and worked on “LinkAsia”, a weekly half-hour show about Asia. She was a documentary editor for Kia motors and commercial video editor for Clarins, Simpatico Homes and Laneige.

  • Amy Watanabe

    Associate Producer

    Watanabe is an Account Executive at Nakatomi & Associates. Her previous experience focused on civil rights and advocacy work and developing the political pipeline and leadership for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders both locally and nationally. Amy received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and minor in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

  • Derek Nakamoto


    Nakamoto is a veteran producer and composer with a 30-year career of producing and arranging for some of the most influential music artists. He has composed original music recorded by some of the world’s most prestigious ensembles. His extensive musical background has allowed him to work on a variety of eclectic projects. From string arrangements for Grammy winning artists and production credits to full orchestra scores, Nakamoto forges textures and harmonies from different cultures and eras into a unique piece that is sure to move the audience.

  • Camille Obata

    Production Assistant

    Obata graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a bachelor’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies and a minor in Sociology. This is the first documentary she has worked on. It was both her interest in understanding the ways in which media influences culture, and vice versa, along with her experiences as a Yonsei (fourth generation Japanese American) that has brought her on board the Mineta Legacy Project.