Meet the Filmmaker: Shannon Umetani, “One Fine Day”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
SU: I technically became a filmmaker awhile ago when I was in film school. Although I’ve worked in production ever since, I haven’t actually made anything of my own since school really. In the past year, Group Project was created by my sisters (Keiko Ozaki and Margaret Ozaki Graves) and me to work more on passion projects. My sisters inspire me with their incredible talents and we simply have fun creating together purely for the sake of creating.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
SU: “One Fine Day” is part opera music video, part anti-Asian hate PSA. It features the vocal talents of Margaret Ozaki Graves and was filmed at The Bug. It has not screened anywhere yet, so we’re excited to share it on the big screen. Our plans are to rack up more views on YouTube.

Q: What else are you working on?
SU: Aside from our day jobs, we aren’t currently in production on any other films at the moment, but we’re always talking about the next thing – another opera music video, an update to a documentary I made about Tibetan refugees in 2004, a narrative about how our interracial parents met or maybe even a podcast where we chat and commiserate about all being creatives.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
SU: Keiko spent over $150 on live butterflies, which completely blew the prop budget and necessitated an end-of-the film disclaimer. It was totally worth it though.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
SU: Groupprojectfilms.com

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
SU: Thank you very much for providing an outlet to screen our film. It’s never too late to re-emerge as a filmmaker.

One Fine Day will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, January 19th, 2023 at The Bug Theatre.