Ian Thomas Ash

Ian Thomas Ash

Director, Camera Operator, Producer


Ian Thomas Ash is a Japanese documentary filmmaker and social activist. He was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1977 and grew up in a rural area of the Tohoku region. He attended the School of Social Sciences at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, where he graduated with a degree in Media Studies.

Ash started his career as a freelance documentary filmmaker in Tokyo, producing and directing numerous short documentaries for television and film festivals. In 2009, Ash was awarded the Japan Prize for his documentary, “To the North,” which focused on the effects of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on the people of the region. The film was broadcast in more than 30 countries and won numerous awards.

In 2012, Ash released his feature-length documentary “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom,” which was an official selection at the Berlin International Film Festival and won the Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Film Festival. The film was praised for its unique and intimate portrayal of the survivors of the disaster.

In 2013, Ash released his feature-length documentary “The Children of Fukushima,” which focused on the effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster on the children of the region. The film was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

In addition to his filmmaking career, Ash is also an active social activist. He is a founding member of the Japanese nonprofit organization “Children Without Borders,” which works to provide education, medical care, and social services to children in developing countries. He is also a vocal advocate for the rights of indigenous people and refugees.

Ash is dedicated to using his films to create social change and to raise awareness about the issues that matter to him. His work has been praised for its beauty and its power to move and inspire audiences around the world. Through his films, he continues to challenge viewers to think critically about the world and to make a difference.