Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Masahiro Sugano (Tacoma) is an award-winning filmmaker whose accolades stretch from a 1997 Student Academy Award nomination to the 2016 Documentary Award given by the National Asian American Journalists Association. Through his media lab Studio Revolt, he created short videos on issues of Cambodian deportations. Continuing his narratives on deportation, he received the 2013 Center for Asian American Media’s Innovation Fund for his series “Verses in Exile,” which was broadcast online on PBS. Masahiro's second feature CAMBODIAN SON is the winner of several awards including Best Documentary Award CAAMFEST 2014 and Special Jury Prize at Cultural Resistance Film Fest of Lebanon 2014.

Masahiro earned a BA in philosophy from Cal State Northridge and an MFA in film/animation from the University of Illinois-Chicago. His film’s screen internationally, in cinemas, museums, schools, and prisons. He serves as the artist-in-residence at the University of Washington - Bothell where he teaches filmmaking.

Masahiro received 2017 GAP Award funding for HEADLOCK (working title) - a short magical realism film set in the Pacific Northwest. Inspired by the cinema of Emir Kustrica and Alejandro Jodorowsky, this live action film utilizes subtle fantastic elements to create a bold narrative of mythical proportions. The film is imagined as a dreamlike allegory centered around two working-class male characters set in the city of Tacoma. The story follows these men, literally bound to one another, as one man holds the other in a headlock. Trapped in their own brute force, inarticulate mumblings, and indulgent soliloquies, the two men walk through a changing terrain of natural landscapes and urban backdrops. After traversing city streets and vacant lots, crossing a wooded forest, trekking along a snow covered slope, the men eventually arrive at a desolate factory.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

Thank you for this grant. It couldn't have come at a more critical time. Please note in my original proposal I titled the film as "Restart" and now I am titling it Headlock but it is still a working title. This will not be finalized until I edit the film. Thank you.

Masahiro Sugano