Masami Kawai is a Los Angeles-born filmmaker who lives in Eugene, Oregon. She’s of Ryukyuan descent from the island of Amami. Kawai participated in Film Independent’s diversity program, Project Involve, and her work has screened at various venues, including the Rotterdam Film Festival, LACMA, and Indie Memphis. Her film TIDES won Best Narrative Short at the Northwest Film Forum’s Film Festival and the Eastern Oregon Film Festival. Her film ZONA won Best Narrative Short at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
She is currently an Assistant Professor of Filmmaking at the University of Oregon. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College, where she focused on Visual Arts, Radical Pedagogy, and Post-Colonial Studies. After graduation, she devoted herself to community organizing before pursuing filmmaking again. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Directing from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television.