Keiko Tsuno

Keiko Tsuno
Co-Founder + Co-Executive Director
Phone Number: 
(212) 966-4510 x622
Email Address:

Keiko Tsuno has been producing and directing documentaries since 1969. Between 1974 and 1979, together with her husband Jon Alpert, Tsuno co-produced five one-hour documentaries for public television.

The earliest, entitled Cuba: The People, presented the first American television coverage inside Cuba in ten years. The New York Times selected this work as one of the best television productions in the country that year.

In 1976, she won the Columbia DuPont Award and the Christopher Award for Chinatown: Immigrants in
America, and her 1977 award-winning piece Vietnam: Picking Up the Pieces marked the first time an American TV crew had filmed in Vietnam since the war.

She also covered the Vietnam-China Border Wars, and when Fidel Castro came to address the United Nations, her team was the only non-Cuban crew allowed access to Castro.

In 1980, she received the National Emmy Award for Best Editing and the Grand Prix at the Tokyo Video Festival for Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive.

Eventually, going out into the field took a backseat to motherhood. Tsuno started to produce documentaries by herself for PBS. She is a documentarian, camerawoman and editor for all her works. Her credits include - Invisible Citizens: Japanese Americans (1985) which won a Monitor Award's Best Documentary nomination; The Story of Vinh (1991) won a CINE Golden Eagle Award, Canal Street: First Stop In America for PBS won a National Education Gold Apple Award and most recently, India Journal (2005) was premiered at a United Nations Film Festival in 2006.

Originally from Tokyo, she has also published a book in Japan, "Changing the World Through Video," recounting her many years of experience in filmmaking.

Keiko Tsuno is the Co-founder and Co-Director of the Downtown Community Television Center, America's largest and most honored non-profit community media center, which is located in a landmark Tribeca firehouse.

Selected Filmography:
Cuba: The People (1974)
Chinatown: Immigrants in America (1976)
Healthcare: Your Money or Your Life (1977)
Vietnam: Picking up the Pieces (1978)
Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive (1980)
Invisible Citizens: Japanese Americans (1985)
The Story of Vinh (1991)
Canal Street: First Stop in America (1999)