Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawaii
Directed by Don Sellers , Lucy Ostrander
Co-presented by Seattle Chapter Japanese American Citizens League
PROOF OF LOYALTY: KAZUO YAMANE AND THE NISEI SOLDIERS OF HAWAII tells the story of a Japanese American who played a crucial role in World War II. Drafted just before the war, Kazuo became part of the renowned 100th Infantry Battalion, a unit made up entirely of Nisei from Hawaii. Their success was spectacular, but Kazuo was plucked from their ranks for his exceptional knowledge of Japanese. His journey led him to the Pentagon, to a secret facility in northern Maryland, and finally to serving under Eisenhower in Europe. His incredible work was instrumental in shortening the war in the Pacific.
The filmmaking team of Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers each have over 30 years of documentary film experience. Lucy and Don started their filmmaking careers after completing Masters degrees from the documentary film program at Stanford University. Don’s study of biology at Cornell had led him to Stanford to focus on making scientific films. His early work includes cinematography and editing for the PBS series FRONTLINE, as well as shooting for many other nationally broadcast television documentary series. He also taught documentary film production at both Stanford and Colorado College. Lucy’s portfolio of films as a producer and director has garnered numerous awards including a Student Academy Award, the Nissan Focus Award, CINE Golden Eagle, and an Artist Trust Fellowship. In 2014, Lucy and Don received the prestigious Erik Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians and the History In Progress Award from the American Association for State and Local History for Honor & Sacrifice. Together, Lucy and Don have produced and directed numerous notable documentary works, many receiving local, national and foreign broadcast. Recently, the duo have concentrated on bringing to the screen important stories in Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest history, producing documentaries that are admired by both academics and critics.
Shannon Gee / United States / 2016 / Animated, Documentary, Japanese American / 23 minsThe animated short film AN AMERICAN HERO: FRANK NISHIMURA tells the story of a World War II veteran and is based on the graphic novel "Fighting for America: Nisei Soldiers," written by Lawrence Matsuda and illustrated by Matt Sasaki. Frank grew up in Seattle where his family ran hotels, including the Puget Sound Hotel. With Executive Order 9066, which set in motion the expulsion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast, the Nishimuras moved to Eastern Washington, avoiding imprisonment. Frank volunteered to join the U.S Army as part of the 442nd/100th Battalion, where he made new friends and strong connections. Frank saw heavy combat in France and Italy and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, French National Order of the Legion of Honor, and the Congressional Gold Medal.