Ken Ochiai Poster

Biography

Ken Ochiai made his first film at age 12. Immediately following his high school graduation, he left his hometown of Tokyo, Japan, to pursue his dream of becoming a film director in the United States. Ochiai graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2006 with a BA in production. In 2008, he received his MFA from the American Film Institute Conservatory in directing.

To date, Ochiai has made more than 30 short films, commercials, and music videos including "Half Kenneth" which won the Jury Prize from the Directors Guild of America; "Frog In The Well" which won the Crystal Award at the Heartland Film Festival; and "Miyuki's Wind Bell" which won the Sapporo Peace Award at the Sapporo Short Fest.

Reel to Reel Reviewer praised Half Kenneth saying it's "a terrific, emotionally-charged film that turns an eye onto a dark period of American history few know, or even think of."

Recently he received Young Alumni Award from the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association in recognition of his achievements in filmmaking.

Tiger Mask is his first feature film, which is based on a Japanese legendary comic book series and produced by Toshiaki Nakazawa, producer from an Oscar®-winning film "Departures."

Frank Pierson, Oscar®-winning writer and former president of the Writers Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has called Ochiai "a visually imaginative and bold director." And Jim McBride, who directed The Big Easy, says Ochiai "is extremely inventive with visual storytelling and portraying internal states of mind."