A Japanese native, Chikara has spent nearly 35 years in New York, Hawaii, and in the San Francisco Bay area as a freelance Director, Cinematographer, and Editor for various Japanese television networks, including NHK, Japan’s public television. Chikara also was a principal collaborator on 14 independent films with Rob Nilsson, a Berkeley-based Sundance/Cannes award-winning filmmaker.

Since 2011, Chikara has partnered with Paul Zehrer for PotentialSF — working as Co-Producer, Cinematographer, and Co-Editor on numerous award-winning films including “Why Waldorf?”, “Preparing for Life”, and “Being Seen”. Recently Chikara was a Co-Cinematographer for “The Test and The Art of Thinking,” a documentary feature about the SAT exam.

Journey to Hokusai: Indiegogo campaign trailer

Producer, Cinematographer, Editor

[qode_video_box video_image=”166″ video_link=”https://vimeo.com/273780152″]

Tom Killion has long held a dream – to go to Japan and learn a traditional method of printing by hand. Deeply touched by the artist Hokusai’s prints when he was a child, Tom has for almost 50 years successfully created iconic California landscape prints. This film follows Tom’s journey to Japan to finally learn the traditional technique from Kenji Takenaka — a 5th generation printer in Kyoto. This film also examines the source of aesthetics found in Japanese art, crafts, and lifestyle.

Visit Journey to Hokusai campaign site to find out more about the film and this campaign.

[qode_video_box video_image=”159″ video_link=”https://vimeo.com/218194432″]

Documentary Reel:

Cinematographer, Co-Producer, Co-Editor

[qode_video_box video_image=”157″ video_link=”https://vimeo.com/218192010″]

Corporate Reel:

Producer, Cinematographer, Editor

[qode_video_box video_image=”158″ video_link=”https://vimeo.com/218193158″]

Dramatic reel:

Cinematographer, Co-Producer, Co-Editor

The Test & The Art of Thinking: Film Teaser

Co-Cinematographer

For decades, the SAT & ACT have loomed colossal as a teenage rite of passage for those aspiring to college in the U.S. The experience, and the score, remain indelible for many. Students, academics, and test-taking professionals expose the bias and influence, both cultural and psychological, in this surprising documentary.

[qode_video_box video_image=”170″ video_link=”https://youtu.be/0YKQLzZJsy0″]

Being Seen:

Cinematographer, Co-Producer, Co-Editor

[qode_video_box video_image=”161″ video_link=”https://vimeo.com/174385874″]

“Being Seen” explores the poorly understood subculture of people living with “developmental disabilities.” These individuals’ candid and articulate self-awareness quickly shatter preconceptions of who they are and how they think about themselves and the world — leaving us with existential questions about the meaning of “disabled” and “normal”. Rather than defining themselves by their diagnosis, individuals (young and old) strive to create meaning, meet adversity, and dream of their futures. Bay Area filmmakers, Paul Zehrer and Chikara Motomura, spent over three years following individuals living with developmental disabilities throughout the Bay Area.

Preparing for Life:

Cinematographer, Co-Producer, Co-Editor

“Preparing for Life” takes viewers inside the Waldorf School of the Peninsula where the focus is on developing the capacities for creativity, resilience, innovative thinking, and social and emotional intelligence over rote learning. Entrepreneurs, Stanford researchers, investment bankers, and parents who run some of the largest hi-tech companies in the world, weigh-in on what children need to navigate the challenges of the 21st Century in order to find success, purpose, and joy in their lives.

[qode_video_box video_image=”160″ video_link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-ZSeepDmPE”]

Partner Filmmakers:

Rob Nilsson
citizencinema.net

Paul Zehrer
potentialsf.com

Beth LaDove
bethladove.com