Third Act

Gripped by Parkinson’s disease, renowned filmmaker Robert A. Nakamura reflects on his life, legacy, and the future of democracy in the United States.

Funding Initiative
Diversity Development Fund

Tadashi Nakamura

Emmy nominated filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s "Young People Who Rock" for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and listed as one of the “Top Rising Asian American Directors” on IMDb. The fourth-generation Japanese American recently completed Mele Murals, a documentary on the transformative power of modern Show more graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. Mele Murals was broadcasted on PBS and Al Jazeera, and was nominated for an Emmy in 2018. His previous film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings was broadcasted nationally on PBS and went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. Nakamura’s trilogy of documentary films on the Japanese American experience, Yellow Brotherhood (2003), Pilgrimage (2007) and A Song for Ourselves (2009) have garnered over 20 awards. Nakamura has a M.A. in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz, a B.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Show less


Marty Syjuco

Originally from the Philippines, Marty is two-time Emmy¨ nominated filmmaker whose first film Give Up Tomorrow premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival where it won the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize. The film went on to win 18 awards and has been seen by over 50 million viewers worldwide. His second feature, Almost Sunrise won a CINE Golden Eagle Show more Award, played theatrically at the IFC Center in NYC, and was nationally broadcast on PBS/POV for Veterans Day. His recent film, Call Her Ganda was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award and was recently broadcast on POV’s 32nd season. Marty is a proud ITVS, Bertha, Sundance, Tribeca, Fledgling, Wyncote, and Good Pitch Fellow, and was invited to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences last summer. Show less

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The Film

Pioneering Asian-American filmmaker Robert A. Nakamura, known as “the Godfather of Asian-American media,” reflects on his life and work across 50 years. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease and depression, Nakamura converses with his son, Tad, also a filmmaker. A survivor of America’s WWII concentration camp in Manzanar, the elder Nakamura expresses his concerns with the national amnesia toward bigotry and the rise of xenophobia in contemporary American life. As Tad struggles to cope with his father’s illness, the film develops into a soul-searching, filmmaker-to-filmmaker conversation on historical trauma and the future of democracy.