For independent filmmaker Ian Thomas Ash, making documentaries is an organic process. "I'm not a journalist, and I don't try to make judgments," he says. "My reaction is to film what is going on around me and see where it leads."

In Ash's case, it has led to recognition and awards at film festivals around the world for "A2-B-C," the second of a pair of documentaries about children living in towns a stone's throw from the site of the nuclear reactor meltdowns in Fukushima Prefecture.

Ash, an American who has called Japan home for the past 10 years, was in Tokyo when the massive earthquake struck on March 11, 2011. He began by simply filming scenes around him, such as the panic buying and setsuden electricity-saving measures, little knowing this would become the prologue to a much bigger story.