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Filmmakers » Director, Editor, Cinematographer

Soraya Umewaka is of Japanese-Lebanese descent, born in Tokyo; a graduate of Comparative Politics from Princeton University (2006) and a Noh actress (traditional Japanese theatre) who has performed at the National Noh Theatre since the age of 3.

Through a lifetime of Noh training, she has attuned her observations of the nuances, symbolism and subtleties of expression found in the arts. Her cross-cultural documentaries are intimate personal portraits that unravel tales of the quest for happiness despite the pressure of various hardships, the uncertainties of tomorrow and a wide spectrum of socially constructed borders. Soraya's works highlight the resilience and dignity of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Her mid-length ‘Street Witness’ (2007) was screened at the Miami International Film Festival 2008, HBO NY Latino Film Festival 2008, Belgrade Documentary Film Festival 2009 and the Princeton Human Rights Film Festival 2008. She received Princeton University’s Labouisse Fellowship to make ‘Eu Sou Feliz’ (‘I am Happy’), which was screened at the HBO NY Latino Film Festival 2009, Rio International Film Festival 2009, Cinema Brasil 2009, London Latin American Film Festival 2009, Brasilia International Film Festival 2009 and the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival 2010.

Soraya has directed a Japanese television program as well as documentaries for the World Intellectual Property Organization and was recently awarded The Prize of International School on Mind, Brain and Education at the Ettore Majorana Foundation for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy (2010)