Biography/ Filmography

Photo: ©Uchujin Adrian Storey 2013


Born in America, Ian Thomas Ash earned an MA in Film and Television Production at the University of Bristol, UK, in 2005. His first feature documentary, ‘the ballad of vicki and jake’ (2006), received the Prix du Canton Vaud prize at the 2006 Visions du Reél International Documentary Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland.

Ian’s two feature documentaries about children living in areas of Fukushima contaminated by the 2011 nuclear meltdown, ‘In the Grey Zone‘ (2012) and ‘A2-B-C‘ (2013), have been screened at festivals around the world where they have also received multiple awards.

The World Premier of ‘-1287‘ (2014), Ian’s latest documentary, took place in the 2014 Raindance Film Festival in London. Ian has lived in Japan for a total of 12 years and lives in Tokyo.  He is currently in production for two feature documentaries, one about a little told niche in the Japanese sex industry and the other the third installment in his series about Fukushima.



Filmmaker Award
at the 2015 Snowtown Film Festival (USA) for short documentary “Even the Birds Need to be Loved” (Japan)

Golden Honey Comb for Outstanding Work in Film
at the 2014 Lake Champlain International Film Festival (USA) for ‘In the Grey Zone’ (2012) and ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)

Special Recognition
at the 2014 Uranium Film Festival (Brazil) for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)

Award for Best Documentary
at the 2013 STEPS Rights Film Festival (Ukraine) for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)

Best of Festival Award
at the 2013 Guam International Film Festival for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)

Nippon Visions Award (best film by new-coming Japan-based director)
at the 2013 Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival (Germany) for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)

Audience Choice Award First Prize for Best Documentary
at the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival (US) for “In the Grey Zone” (2012).

Filmmaker of the Future Award
at the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival (US).

Prix de Canton Vaud (best first film)
at the 2006 Visions du Reél International Documentary Film Festival (Nyon, Switzerland) for “the ballad of vicki and jake” (2006).



“-1287”, director/ producer. 70 min/ US & Japan/ 2014.
As she nears the end of life, Kazuko’s observations on love, money, marriage and her own death change, as does her relationship with the filmmaker.

“A2-B-C”, director. 71 min/ Japan/ 2013.
Eighteen months after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, children who were not evacuated are found to have thyroid cysts and nodules.

“In the Grey Zone”, director.  89 min/ Japan/ 2012.
The children of Minamisoma City, Fukushima, living inside the radiation zone head back to school after the nuclear meltdown.

“Jake, not finished yet”, director.  81 min/ Japan & UK/ 2010.
The story of two mothers and two sons whose chance meeting seven years earlier changes their lives forever.

“the ballad of vicki and jake”, director/ producer.  84 min/ UK/ 2006.
A family struggles with drug abuse, homelessness and their relationship with the filmmaker.