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Mako Kamitsuna was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Hiroshima, Japan.
In her early years, she wanted to become an astronaut. In her teenage years, Ms. Kamitsuna recognized her natural talent to manipulate images as a communication tool and realized that becoming a filmmaker might be a more pragmatic aspiration than dreaming of the boundless space above. She gave up pursuing astronomy at UC Berkeley; went on to earn a B.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University; and later attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film M.F.A. program.
Her notable credits as film editor include Kevin Jordan’s Brooklyn Lobster, starring Danny Aiello and Jane Curtin; and Elizabeth Holder’s documentary I Want So Much to Live, about the revolutionary birth of the world’s first biologic, antibody-based “targeted therapy” for breast cancer.
She has also edited award-winning documentaries on the French Revolution (for the History Channel), the Taliban (for National Geographic), anti-nuclear war, malaria, and immigration. In 2009, she was selected to become a fellow at Film Independent’s Project: Involve, collaborating on short films.
>Ms. Kamitsuna has edited, written and directed two short films; Betty Anderson, starring Tamlyn Tomita, and the recently completed Katya, starring Chulpan Khamatova and Olek Krupa.
In 2011, she became one of eight women invited to participate in the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women; and will be writing and directing She, Who Excels in Solitude, a short film based on Mercury 13.