Masami Kawai, assistant professor of cinema studies at University of Oregon, won the Audience Choice Best Short and Curator’s Pick Director to Watch awards at the Eastern Oregon Film Festival for her 2018 film, “Tides.” Kawai also received the 2020 summer humanities and creative arts faculty grant for writing a feature film screenplay. Her work explores race, class, gender and what it means to be an immigrant.
Kawai has been a selected director in the Francis Ford Coppola One-Act play series and has received a fellowship from LA’s Visual Communications, which supports emerging Asian American filmmakers and was supported by the Panavision New Filmmaker’s grant. In addition, she participated in Film Independent’s diversity program, Project Involve. Her work has screened at various venues, including the Rotterdam Film Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, Portland International Film Festival, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.