Naomi Kawase (born 1969 in Nara, Japan) is a Japanese film director. She was also known as Naomi Sento with her then-husband's surname. Many of her works have been documentaries, including Embracing/ Ni tsutsumarete, about her search for the father who abandoned her as a child, and Katatsumori, about the grandmother who raised her.
After graduating from the Osaka School of Photography (then the School of Visual Arts) in 1989, she spent an additional four years there as a lecturer before releasing Embracing. She became the youngest winner of la Caméra d'Or award (the award for the best new director) at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for her first 35mm film Moe no Suzaku. She won the Grand Prix of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for her fourth full-length film The Mourning Forest/ Mogari no Mori.
Beyond her artistic engagements abroad, she channels her energies into her hometown of Nara, organizing the bi-annual "Nara International Film Festival" and other local programmes like the Youth Filmmaking Workshop to help nurture the next generation of visionaries. She was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. She serves as the official Film Director for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and continues to also serve as the producer and senior advisor for the upcoming 2025 Osaka-Kansai World Expo.
DAFilms.com is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.