In 1998, Yuri Makino joined the School of Media Arts, now the School of Theater, Film and Television, where she teaches film production and screenwriting. She is the Associate Director of the School.
Ms. Makino received her B.A. with Highest Honors in Film Studies and in German Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1990. In 1996, she completed the M.F.A. Film Graduate Program at New York University.
Ms. Makino is the recipient of a 2011 Innovation and Collaboration Faculty Grant for $25k awarded by the UA Confluence Center. With the funding, Ms. Makino is producing a documentary with UA collaborators Dr. Dieter and Netzin Steklis on their research with wild gorillas. Rough & Tumble: Taking Play Seriously explores the beneficial role of play in wild gorillas, in addition to the play of dogs and wild dolphins. Human play is usually thought of as a childhood pastime, but the film reveals that play imparts critical skills or experiences that are life-enhancing. While play may seem trivial in our lives, it may define who we are and how we came to be.
To produce, 111 Degrees Longitude, Ms. Makino received a Hanson Film Institute grant and an Artist Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. This experimental documentary is a collaborative piece produced with filmmaker Cindy Stillwell in Bozeman, Montana. The video explores modern notions of home by two women living along the 111th meridian in the American west. 111 Degrees Longitude premiered at the Big Sky Film Festival in 2009.
In 2007 Ms. Makino completed the short film, Alma, premiered at the Humboldt Film Festival where it won The Ledo Matteoli Award for Best Immigrant Story. It received 3 awards from the 2008 Baltimore Women’s Film Festival for Best Short Film, Best Director and Best Local Filmmaker (for executive producer Vicky Westover). It was also awarded a Best Director Award at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival in New York, Best Narrative for the Faculty Juried Screenings competition at the 2007 University Film and Video Association conference, and a 2007 Accolade Award for Excellence in the Independent Short Film category. To date Alma has screened in 22 festivals.
Ms. Makino has worked in the independent film community and commercial industry in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.