Karen Severns and Koichi Mori

Karen Severns

Azby Brown

Donald Richie as the voice of Frank Lloyd Wright

Curtis James Patterson

Karen Severns and Koichi Mori drew on their extensive backgrounds in the production of industrials and short films in New York and Tokyo to write, produce, direct and edit their first feature-length documentary.

Karen received an MFA in Film from Columbia University, and has worked in both New York and Tokyo as a filmmaker, film critic, journalist and author. She has produced dozens of short films, including 2001 Academy Award® nominee One Day Crossing. Karen is currently directing a film on Donald Richie (see below).

Before he began producing architectural videos in 1999, Koichi traveled throughout Asia for a leading multinational, working on building management and environmental conservation projects. He holds a global MBA from Thunderbird, and has worked in advertising in New York. Koichi is currently producing a film on Donald Richie.

A native of Chicago, Music Director Curtis James Patterson studied the koto (13-string long zither) at Cornell College in Iowa before moving to Japan, where he continued his studies with the Sawai Koto Institute. In 1995, he became the first non-Japanese to graduate from the NHK (Japanese National Broadcasting Company) training program for young performers of traditional Japanese instruments. Curtis has performed widely in Japan and the U.S. as a solo artist, as well as with Koto Phase, Soemon and the Sawai Tadao Koto Ensemble. His first solo album, Oto No Wa—Circles, was released in 2002. In 2007, he released Going Home with Bruce Heubner.

Famed author, critic, filmmaker and raconteur Donald Richie arrived in Japan in 1947, and essentially stayed for the rest of his life. Soon recognized as the nation's most acute observer, his 40-plus books included the groundbreaking travelogue The Inland Sea ; the first in-depth look at Japan's cinema, Japanese Film: Art And Industry ; the first biographies of Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa; and The Japan Journals: 1947 - 2004 . Donald spent many happy hours in Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel, and thoroughly enjoyed being the irascible voice of Wright in Magnificent Obsession.