Award-winning Australian-Japanese bilingual director for documentaries and commercial content.

For me, story-telling is a way to connect with people. Whether it’s with a stills camera or sharing a joke, it’s a way to understand or to empathise with another person’s perspective, background or their thoughts.

As a student, when I travelled around India by myself for a month, my Canon5Dii allowed me to strike-up a conversation with local Rabari tribes and farmers who I had no connection with otherwise. As they went around doing their day-to-day chores, I would snap pictures of them. Sometimes I spent few hours in one location if they didn’t mind. Some farmers would be working the field, some women would be making flour balls to eat. I would show them the result. Most times they would laugh seeing themselves in the small screen. That would start a conversation which could range from what vegetable they were growing, how they would cook it, their favorite snack. In return, I would tell them where I came from and why I was taking pictures of random village people and farmers. The camera gave me the opportunity to communicate with these people who I wouldn’t have had the courage to talk to otherwise. As superficial as it seemed, it gave me a sense of some understanding what the local people were like and what preoccupied their thoughts.

Hi. My name is Tak Nakano and I’m a filmmaker.

Driven by a strong sense of adventure and curiosity, I take immense pleasure in telling stories of the underdogs, the outliers and the under-represented. My approach to any subject matter is compassionate, authentic and I always look to bring out the emotional core in a way that captivates audience. My visual cowboy noose (a weird way of saying “my visual aesthetic”) tries to capture exciting and expressive images.

Recently, I directed and produced a documentary series following nine amateur athletes with full-time jobs as they prepared for their first Ironman event (3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and then a 42km marathon). The Rookies, the five-part series was filmed over five months for sporting apparel brand 2XU. Episode five: the Art of Suffering was nominated for an award at the Australian Directors Guild Awards in the Best Commercial Content category.

Another project was a self-funded web-series filmed in Italy on local Sicilian food producers. This series gave me ample opportunity to explore and experiment different documentary formats. Word of Mouth: Untold Local Stories won a Silver Telly Award in the non-scripted web-series category in New York. The Gold Award was won by ESPN and other Silver Winners included ad agencies and production companies so it was exciting that a no budget personal project was recognised.

In 2021, I was one of ten international directors to work under chief director and multiple Cannes-Award winner Naomi Kawase on the International Olympic Committee Official feature-length documentary for Tokyo Olympics 2021. The documentary took the athletes’ perspective. It centred around covid and included themes such as motherhood, refugee athletes and the comparison between old traditional sports such as judo and new action sports like surfing and skateboarding. I directed the surfing, skateboarding, bmx components of the project. The film was chosen under Cannes Classic Section and was released at general movie theaters across Japan.

Commercially, I have worked with global brands such as International Olympic Committee, Amazon, Red Bull, Universal Music, Fox Sports, ESPN, Carlton & United Breweries, Optus, UFC, 2XU, Destination NSW, Deus ex Machina to name a few.

I’m eager to continue growing and learning as a filmmaker and as a person.

Feel free to drop me a line to catch-up for sushi, surf or a satisfying chat!