Eimi Imanishi

Writer/ Director

New York, New York, United States

Eimi Imanishi is a Japanese American filmmaker who grew up in France. She earned her BFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, where she majored in sculpture. Imanishi directed award winning short films Battalion To My Beat (2016), which was shot in the Western Saharan refugee camps in Algeria and won the Canal+ Award for Best International Short at Clermont-Ferrand in 2017 after premiering at TIFF; and One-Up (2016) which won Best Narrative Short at Indie Memphis and was released online as a Vimeo Staff Pick film and won Short Of The Week. 

Imanishi is developing her first feature film titled DOHA - The Rising Sun with support from the Sundance Film Institute, the Film Independent, and IFP. She is a 2018 Sundance Directing and Screenwriting Fellow, a Film Independent Directing Fellow, and a Time Warner Fellow of the same year.

Artist's Chosen Interview:
Directors Lab Fellow Eimi Imanishi Is Asking Herself the Hard Questions

Artist's Work:

Inspirational Resources/Recommendations: 

  • Artists, pieces, and things that have influenced me over the years:
  • Japanese rituals of the Shinto religion for its deeply visualized relationship with nature and the world
  • In a similar vein, a lot of early Studio Ghibli animation films, esp. Nausicaä of the Valley of The Wind and Grave of The Fireflies
  • A lot of Japanese manga, esp. Waki Yamato's work for her fictionalization of important historical moments and people from Japanese history
  • Artist Francis Alÿs's "Guards"
  • In a similar vein, Claire Denis' film Beau Travail for composition, choreography, and color, and her focus on colonialism 
  • Pedro Costa's films Letters from Fontainhas for his incredible and specific depiction of place and its people 
  • Sculptor Constantin Brâncusi's body of work
  • Artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz for his depictions of domestic spaces
  • Bahram Beizai's film Bashu, The Little Stranger and a lot of post-revolutionary Iranian cinema (Amir Naderi, Mohsen Makhmalbaf) for their ability to subvert politics into visual poetry in their films, also Shirin Neshat, Manijeh Hekmat for their Muslim feminism 
  • Filmmakers Catherine Breillat, Agnes Varda, Claire Denis, Chantal Akerman for their bodies of work and careers as female filmmakers
  • Werner Herzog for his fearlessness and blending of narrative and non-fiction
  • Writer Bruce Chatwin and his impeccably flawed worlds, his philosophical reflections
  • An interview that I love is with Chantal Akerman at Cannes in 1977  but it's in French
  • Otherwise I like this one with Claire Denis and Eric Hynes, and an interview with Pedro Costa and Jean Pierre Gorin.
  • Take One Interview