Yoko Okumura (she/her) is a genre-fluid writer, director, and performer. Born in a Buddhist temple in Japan and raised in the frostbite of Minneapolis, Yoko now lives and works in Los Angeles.
She is obsessed with telling rebellious stories through underrepresented perspectives and thrives in the intersection of grit and glamour. Yoko loves to bring these original visions to life as a writer/director, but also gains tremendous joy helping to bring the creative vision of showrunners and writers to life for episodic TV.
Yoko's directorial feature film debut "Unseen" made for Blumhouse, Paramount and MGM+ will be released MARCH 2023. The thriller stars Jolene Purdy (White Lotus, Wandavision) and Midori Francis (Dash and Lily, Sex Lives of College Girls).
Yoko sold a story pitch to Sam Raimi's horror anthology "50 States of Fright" and directed the episode "Ball of Twine" starring Ming-na Wen and Karen Allen. Available as a Roku Original.
She has directed numerous episodes of the one hour drama "Good Trouble" and a block of two episodes for "The Bold Type".
Yoko is currently a sponsored director in the Women In Film + Sundance Reframe Rise Sponsorship. She has also participated in The Warner Brothers Directing Workshop, Ryan Murphy Half Initiative, and The Fox Directing Program.
Yoko’s feature film project "The Religion of Girlfriends", was accepted into the WIF/Sundance Institute Financing Intensive. She was awarded the Vimeo Small Business Grant and created a short doc for the Webby Award Winning Series "Stories In Place".
Her directing clients have included Lifetime/A&E's scripted digital series Fall Into Me, Super Deluxe’s Turnt Beauty series and Uproxxx Uncharted series. Branded clients have included Cover Girl, Honda and Instagram.
Yoko is also co-creator of digital series FACETS, a documentary episodic about trailblazing women who have carved unique life paths for themselves. Her various doc work hs been selected for the Vimeo Staff Pick three times.
Her short, Kimi Kabuki, received a DGA Student Film Award, the Panavision New Filmmakers Award and an Austin Film Festival Jury Award.
Yoko has a BFA in Film/Video from CALARTS and an MFA in Film Directing from the American Film Institute.
When not working in media arts Yoko dabbles in fire dancing, aerial arts and would love to learn how to do a backflip.