Julie Thomas-Toda

Creative Producer

Aoi Pro, Tokyo

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Born on one island and moved to another, Julie Thomas-Toda left her home of Honolulu, Hawaii in 1991, and joined AOI Pro. Inc. in Tokyo, when very few foreign women were employed in the Japanese advertising industry. Julie’s determined passion for pushing film craft beyond the cultural and language barriers, has led AOI Pro. to become the leader in collaborating with international creative professionals and filmmakers, setting the precedent for cross-cultural advertising in Japan. Seeing beyond the initial concept in a production, Julie thrives on discovering multi-faceted creative possibilities and delivering beyond the clients’ expectations.

Her work as a creative coordinator has led her to the farthest corners of the earth, working with some of the most distinguished professionals in the industry for such clients such as Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Sony, Panasonic, Coca-Cola, Shiseido, Nike, Kirin, Asahi, and Nestle.

Julie delves into the advert and film craft realm daily, easily geeking out several hours at a time to uncover who’s work is excelling in the world of persuasive filmmaking. She has served on the Film Craft juries for ADFEST, Ciclope, SHOTS, APA, YDA (Young Directors Award) and Young Cannes Lions Film Competition Japan.

Japan has been her home for the last 29 years where she resides in Tokyo with her husband and two children.

Julie Thomas-Toda
I was born in….
Honolulu, Hawaii

I now live in…
Tokyo, Japan

But if I could live anywhere, it would be…
Kawaguchi Lake area overlooking Mt. Fuji

The last track I listened to was…
Ruelle “Good Day For Dreaming”

I dream about…
raising chickens. 😊

The app I couldn’t survive without is…
during covid, ZOOM. 😊

Social media is…
a blessing and a curse

When we can travel again, I’ll be heading to…
visit family.

The most important lesson I’ve learned in 2020…
the importance of independent journalists

The best/worst thing about lockdown was…
The best - Spending more time with my children
The worst - not traveling to visit family for holidays


What the film industry needs is…
in Japan it would definitely be to take more risks.

What I wish I’d known when I was starting my career…
learn at least two other languages.

The best advice I’ve ever been given…
where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The film I wish I’d made…
Aaron Burr “Got Milk”

My biggest inspiration is…
my mother

The person I would canonise is…
Frank Budgen

My last meal would be…
my mother’s meatloaf and scalloped potatoes

My life philosophy in three words…
Love, Gratitude, Humility