Creative Producing Student Yoko Kohmoto Receives The 2023 Campbell Award

Angeline Dimambro
May 23, 2023

Graduating Film student Yoko Kohmoto ’23 is among the winners of Columbia University’s prestigious Campbell Award.

Established in 2016 by the Columbia University Trustees and the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA), the Campbell Award is presented to a graduating student at each School who shows exceptional leadership and Columbia spirit as exemplified by the late Bill Campbell ’62CC, ’64TC, University Trustee Chair Emeritus and CAA co-founder.

“I am incredibly grateful to have received this year's Campbell Award,” Kohmoto said. “When I say I couldn't have done all that I accomplished at Columbia without the staff, students, and faculty who were right next to me and supporting me along the way, I really mean it. It means so much for our work over the past few years to be acknowledged by the university.”

Kohmoto recently graduated from the School of the Arts with an incredible portfolio of short films under her belt. Among them is Enloquecer, directed by Screenwriting student Hector Prats. The film, which Kohmoto produced alongside fellow alumnus Kaelo Iyizoba ’23, had its world premiere at the 2022 Nitehawk Shorts Festival and has gone on to screen at festivals such as Palm Springs ShortFest, Tacoma Film Festival, Crown Heights Film Festival, and the Bushwick Film Festival. It also premiered online on Short of the Week and snagged a coveted spot as a Vimeo Staff Pick, which is a curated selection of the best shorts on the internet.

Still from 'TikTok Challenged,' courtesy of the filmmaker

She is also the producer of TikTok Challenged, directed by third-year student Ivan Rome, which was selected as part of the official selection of the 2023 Atlanta Film Festival, as well as Say Something, directed by third-year Screenwriting student Jiin Oh. Her thesis film, Well, I should Get Going, screened as part of the 2023 Columbia University Film Festival (CUFF). In addition to producing the short, Kohmoto also penned the screenplay, which follows Mariah, a young woman who is desperate to leave a party. Kohmoto also recently served as the Festival Coordinator for CUFF 2023.

Still from 'Say Something,' courtesy of the filmmaker

“‘Filmmaking can't be done alone’ isn't just a fun thing we say—it's simply the truth,” Kohmoto said. “Collaboration in its deepest and most genuine sense is at the core of my producing work, and the most rewarding and fruitful experiences I’ve had have been with artists who share the same values. As corny as it sounds, it's funny that all of these words I center my work around—collaboration, community, care—start with a C. Just like Columbia. There's a wholesome joke in there somewhere. I'm graduating feeling very lucky and grateful for everyone I've met at Columbia, and I'm ready to bring all that I've learned out into the real world.”

Still from 'I should Get Going,' courtesy of the filmmaker

Yoko Kohmoto (she/her) is from Okayama, Japan, and Madison, Wisconsin. She recently completed her MFA in Film with a focus on Creative Producing. During her time at Columbia, she produced over 15 short films and music videos. Her projects have been selected for Vimeo Staff Pick, Palm Springs ShortFest, and Atlanta Film Festival, among others. Priorities in her work as a producer-writer are to build community, ensure safety, and uplift marginalized voices. She is most recently a recipient of the Arthur Krim Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Producing.