Karl Neubert, 58, is an Austrian-German photographer, filmmaker and educator with 30 years of experience living and working in Japan. His debut film, “The Turns of the Wheel,” (1997) earned a Gold Hugo award at the Chicago International Film Festival. Karl has worn many hats in the industry, contributing to over 100 film, TV and video productions in various roles, including line producer and assistant director. He now serves as an associate professor for film and media arts at Temple University, Japan.

1. What drew you to filmmaking? It was actually through friends. I'm not very religious but I was in a church group, and somebody came up with the idea of making a little movie for a town festival. I said, “OK, can I be the director?” My friends agreed.

2. Is there a particular film that inspired you the most? “Once Upon a Time in the West.” It's a really epic spaghetti western. When I saw that, I was blown away because of the close-ups, the music, landscape and everything.