Naomi Kawase (河瀨直美, Kawase Naomi, born May 30, 1969) is a Japanese film director. She was also known as Naomi Sento (仙頭直美, Sentō Naomi), with her then-husband's surname. Many of her works have been documentaries, including Embracing, about her search for the father who abandoned her as a child, and Katatsumori, about the grandmother who raised her.
Growing up in the rural region of Nara, Kawase's parents split early on in her childhood leaving her to be raised by her great-aunt, with whom she held a combative, yet loving, relationship. The youth she spent in Nara has had a drastic effect on her career. Many of her first forays into filmmaking were autobiographical, inspired heavily by the rural landscape. She originally attended the Osaka School of Photography to study television production and later became interested in film, deciding to switch her focus.
Movies & TV shows
To The Future
You can see the expression on the students' faces through the short film directed by Naomi Kawase.
Tracing Her Shadow
An old Chinese woman travels to Japan to find her missing daughter who she adopted after World War II. A retired Japanese policeman and her granddaughter are looking for her.
2 Movies · 1 TV show
Acclaimed filmmakers from around the world channel their creativity during COVID-19 isolation with this diverse, genre-spanning collection of short films.
It Stopped Raining
A young bioarchaeologist Yukisuke is attracted to a girl Koyomi, who runs a small stand of taiyaki pastry that he often buys. Koyomi is hospitalized, however, by a car accident on a rainy day after th...
Satoko and her husband decided to adopt a baby boy after a long and unsuccessful attempt at getting pregnant. A few years later, their parenthood is shaken by a threatening unknown girl, who pretends ...
The Nikaidos' Fall
After losing his son, Tatsuya is anguished by the danger of his ancient family line coming to an end. His mother Haru urges him to embark on a loveless second marriage, and meanwhile he secretly hopes...
Centres on Jeanne, a journalist tracking a mysterious rare herb that appears only once every 997 years.
Toru revisits the astronomical observatory in his old school for the first time in 15 years. He finds a notebook in the room that remained unchanged and frozen in time. "Thanks for watching me." It wa...
Naomi Kawase describes the lead character in the film, Sakura Ando, as being more like a fairy. There is a creature. Seed is the story of the journey this girl takes from the enchanted nature of Nara ...
This is the story about the life and artistic views of a designer through an interview that’s replete with poetic dialogue.
Reel Herstory: The Real Story of Reel Women
Using rare footage and exclusive interviews with filmmakers from all over the globe, "Reel Herstory" corrects the historic notion that women behind the scenes in motion pictures held peripheral career...
Still the Water
The drama is set on the Japanese island of Amami-Oshima and takes place during the full moon night of traditional dances in August. The young man enlisted the help of his girlfriend. The interwoven cy...
A Midsummer's Fantasia
A Korean Film director, Kim Taehoon plans to shoot his new film in a small local city called Gojo, Japan. He travels with his assistant director, Park Mijeong to do research prior to scriptwriting. Th...
The Tale of Iya
There was a stranger from Tokyo who came to Iya in the summer of 2011. A young man named Kudo was willing to live a self-sufficient life. He believed that the beautiful land would give him some rest, ...
Director Pedro came to Japan in April 2011, started shooting in the village Totsukawa of Nara Prefecture. He, as Himotoku, began to spin the story with his camera instead of a brush…
Woodwork artist Takumi moves to the small village Asuka in Nara Prefecture. He remodels old homes and lives a peaceful existence with nature. Takumi then meets Kayoko, a woman who went to the same sch...
Kawase pays tribute to the grandmother that raised her after being separated from her parents as a child. The film teems with memories, but it is the faded, dusty photographs capturing the kindness in...
3.11 A Sense of Home
In memory of the Japanese earthquake on 3.11, each director presents a 3 minute and 11 second short film in tribute to those who were lost.
60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero
The film is a collection of one-minute short films created by 60 filmmakers from around the world on the theme of the death of cinema.
Cinematic Correspondences: Isaki Lacuesta - Naomi Kawase
The exhibition 'The Complete Letters' features epistolary works defined by cinematographic creation. This is an experimental communication format used between pairs of film directors. Although each di...
In the film Koma, Kawase explores the relationship between fragile and often tense history between Korea and Japan through the relationship that develops between a third generation Korean-Japanese man...
Kawase's entry in the Haiku project
Hong Sang-Soo’s Lost in the Mountains (South Korea, 32min) the visitor is the supremely self-centred Mi-Sook, who drives to Jeonju on impulse to see her classmate Jin-Young – only to discover that her...
The Mourning Forest
A careGiver at a small retirement home takes one of her patients for a drive to the country, but the two end up stranded in a forest, where they embark on an exhausting and enlightening two-day journe...
Tarachime is a documentary film which observes 'life' through childbirth. Kawase Naomi, a film director working under the theme of family, life and death, presents the bond of life through her own ch...
The Aso family live in the old town of Nara. One Day, Kei, one of the Aso's twin boys suddenly disappears. Five years later seventeen-year old Shun, the remaining twin, is an art student. He now has t...
Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom
Kazuo Nishii, renowned editor and photography critic, died in 2001 of stomach cancer. Two months earlier he contacted Naomi Kawase, whose works he admired, to document the remaining weeks of his life....
Sky, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth
In the follow-up to Embracing (1992), Naomi Kawase learns of her father's death and struggles with her loneliness and the feeling of having been abandoned by her parents.
Emotionally withdrawn strip club dancer Ayako has never recovered from her mother's suicide when she was young. She begins a relationship with patient potter Daiji, but leaves him behind when she quit...
Naomi Kawase collaborates with Shinya Arimoto, a Taiyo award-winning photographer she knows from university, to create a photo album of Machiko Ono (who Kawase scouted for her previous feature film Mo...
Naomi Kawase returns to the mountains of her feature film Suzaku and portraits the people that inspired the movie.
The life of a family in a remote Japanese timber village is depicted. Tahara and his family live with his mother, wife, nephew, and young daughter. There is tragedy in the family due to the economic r...
Sun on the Horizon
The last part of the trilogy, filming her grandma and herself. She looks at the lovable beings in front of her eyes.
This World (Winter)
The film takes shape through the form of a video exchange between Hirokazu Kore-eda and Naomi Kawase. Each films the world around them and intimately reflects on their individual struggles with making...
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