Documentary Filmmaker and Video Editor

Ema Ryan Yamazaki is a documentary filmmaker and video editor. Since 2014, Ema directed, produced, and edited her first feature documentary, MONKEY BUSINESS: THE ADVENTURES OF CURIOUS GEORGE’S CREATORS. The documentary uses animation, archival materials and interviews to tell the incredible story of Hans and Margret Rey, the authors of the beloved children’s book series Curious George. The project successfully raised over $186,000 on Kickstarter during the summer of 2016, and was acquired by The Orchard (CARTEL LAND, LIFE ANIMATED). It is scheduled to be released in 2017.

Also in 2016, Ema directed a documentary for NHK, the national public broadcaster in Japan, on Martin Scorsese’s film SILENCE. She continues to travel back and forth between New York and Tokyo for projects.

In 2013, her documentary, MONK BY BLOOD, the story of a young Japanese man who faces the destiny of taking over his family's 800-year-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, aired internationally on Al Jazeera English. The film also played at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2014. Her film NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, a documentary about growing up in multiple cultures, has screened at venues and educational conferences around the world.

As an editor, Ema’s work has screened on HBO, PBS, at Sundance, the Toronto Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and the Director's Guild of America, among others. In 2014, Ema was an editor on CNN's docu-series CHICAGOLAND, executive produced by Robert Redford. She was the co-producer and editor of CLASS DIVIDE, a HBO Documentary directed by Marc Levin, which won the Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC in 2015 and aired on HBO on 2016.

Ema is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. While she was a student, Ema interned for Ken Burns' production company and trained at the BBC. Upon graduation, she became an assistant to filmmaker/editor Sam Pollard (WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE, 4 LITTLE GIRLS). Raised in Japan and England, Ema has a particular interest in telling stories that lie in-between cultures.