Kenji Yamamoto has been editing and producing documentary and narrative films for over 30 years, winning numerous awards. As part of Kelly+Yamamoto Productions, he edited and produced the 1991 narrative feature THOUSAND PIECES OF GOLD, which participated in the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Lab and went on to premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Additionally, it screened at the Deauville Festival of American Film, and the international film festivals in London, Moscow, Vancouver, and Seattle. Gold then aired on the PBS American Playhouse series, on Channel Four in the U.K., and around the world.
Kenji produced and edited the acclaimed documentaries DOWNSIDE UP, SMITTEN, TRUST: SECOND ACTS IN YOUNG LIVES, and REBELS WITH A CAUSE. When it premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival, Rebels won an audience favorite award. DOWNSIDE UP aired nationally on the PBS Independent Lens series; SMITTEN aired nationally as a PBS Primetime Special; TRUST aired nationally on the PBS World America ReFramed series; and REBELS aired nationally on PBS through American Public Television.
Independently of Kelly+Yamamoto Productions, Kenji edited the documentary NEW MUSLIM COOL, which participated in the Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Lab. COOL follows Hamza Perez, a Puerto Rican immigrant, hip hop artist, single father, and former drug dealer down on his luck. He rebuilds his shattered life by becoming a Muslim and takes his newfound message to youth in his rough neighborhood. But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and himself. COOL premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival, won the Freedom Award at the Al Jazeera International Film Festival, and aired nationally on the PBS P.O.V. series.
Kenji also edited the documentary STATES OF GRACE which received audience favorite awards at the Mill Valley, Napa Valley, and Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festivals. Grace tells the story of a revered physician who struggles with her injuries after surviving a near-fatal head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge. In her radically altered life, she embarks on a journey of loss, resilience, and renewal.
Kenji studied painting and experimental filmmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute. He also studied at the Jean Shelton School for Actors and Judith Weston Studio for Actors and Directors.