Wesley Julian is the Director and Executive Producer of Tohoku Tomo & the 113 Project. As an alumnus of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, Wesley was in Miyagi, Japan on March 11, 2011 visiting former students and friends when the earthquake struck. Seeing the devastation first-hand and losing a close friend in the tsunami, he returned to the USA committed to helping bring attention to the ongoing needs in the areas devastated by the tsunami. With no prior experience in film-making and fueled only by passion, he gathered a film crew and created the documentary Tohoku Tomo in 2013. He is excited about the continuation of the Tohoku Tomo mission as he and the team venture forth with work on the 113 Project. He hopes Tohoku can be reinvigorated and viewed beyond the scope of the disaster, and was moved to make the 113 Project his full-time job in order to help further the goal.
Wesley is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College and has a master of liberal arts from the University of Richmond. He lives and works out of Chicago and enjoys social esports and staying active through swimming and volleyball. When he's not working towards social good, he's working on his Starcraft builds.
Dan’s appreciation for hands-on skills began in his early childhood where he was often tinkering with computers alongside his older brother. His fascination with composition continued throughout his time at University, during which his love of design and photography continued to flourish. Thanks to his past participation on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program and his work as a University Tour Manager on the Kakehashi Project, the largest youth exchange program in U.S.-Japan Relations, his admiration for Japan and Japanese culture developed further. His subsequent trips to Japan have strongly expanded his captivation with design and the subtle aesthetics which are so prominent throughout the country.
The opportunity to continue giving back to what he considers his second home and to build upon the wonderful stories of Tohoku Tomo is truly exciting. As a member of the 113 Project Team, he is passionate about sharing the warm and enriching stories that his team captured and in their continued mission of supporting the Tohoku region.
Dan is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago and currently resides in Seattle. When he is not playing some chords on his guitar, he can be seen with a camera in hand looking for that next shot and a good cup of coffee.
Elizabeth first traveled to Japan as a high school student and quickly fell in love with the culture. After college, Elizabeth moved to Ninohe City, in Iwate Prefecture, as an Assistant Language Teacher on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Based out of the city's Board of Education, Elizabeth taught classes in two junior high schools and eight elementary schools. She traveled extensively throughout Japan during her two years there, but always felt that Iwate had become her second home.
Upon her return to the United States, Elizabeth became a Program Officer with the United States - Japan Foundation, a bi-national foundation with offices in Tokyo and New York City. Through the US - Japan Leadership Program, which she managed for five years, Elizabeth worked to cultivate a network of communication, friendship and understanding between the next generation of American and Japanese leaders.
Through the 113 Project, Elizabeth hopes that more people will be able to experience the magic of the Tohoku region of Japan, as they recover from and move past the 2011 disaster.
Elizabeth lives in Chicago with her husband, and enjoys playing music, riding her bike along Lake Michigan and sampling all of the great restaurants in the city. She holds a bachelor of arts from Northwestern University and a master of arts from Columbia University.
Philip bought his first camera at the age of 12 and hasn’t stopped shooting since. His love of taking stills eventually paired with his passion for storytelling and he began honing in on Cinematography as a creative outlet. Working out of Los Angeles for seven years, Philip has had the opportunity to work across a range of show formats but has found that documentaries tend to be one of his favorites.
"Documentaries have different shooting styles that present challenges in visual storytelling. They require dynamic shooting abilities during shoot days, throughout every interview, and in every moment captured. Just as a story changes, the visuals that accompany are also in flux. It’s this dynamic range that attracts me to projects. I am excited to be a part of the talented and passionate 113 crew and I look forward to making this story come to life.”
Philip now lives and works out of Richmond, Virginia where he enjoys hiking, poetry whiskey, and zombie
Luke T. Harwath
Luke is the owner of Studio Koyo (www.studiokoyo.com), a specialty film studio founded on the premise that it is people and their personal experiences that make a story matter. The name for Studio Koyo is derived from the Japanese word 紅葉 'kouyou' (translation: fall colors) which invokes a sense of reflection and hope for the future.
While a participant in the JET Programme and living in a village near Sendai, Luke grew a strong connection to the people of Tohoku. After the earthquake and tsunami, he again returned to Japan as a member of a disaster response team, Global DIRT (www.globaldirt.org), primarily focusing on nuclear/radiation assessment and coordination to assist the Japanese government in creating an evacuation plan.
Much of the work he creates serves to establish and reinforce cross-cultural engagement across communities globally. It's with this spirit, and his love of the people of Japan, based on his own experience, that makes this project so important to him.
Scott is a multimedia producer with experience in editing, graphic design, animation, and cinematography. Since graduating from DePaul University's Digital Cinema Program, he has produced segments all around the world for the WTTW PBS series Big Questions and worked behind the scenes to develop the first season. Big Questions covered topics such as the Syrian refugee crisis, the Millennium Village Project, and food deserts in Chicago.
Scott lives and works in Chicago where he enjoys good bars, good movies and waiting for the CTA in the cold.