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Kayvon is an award-winning filmmaker who has extensive experience in the entertainment industry as a producer, director and editor. He has studied under the tutelage of some of the best in the business beginning at Columbia College in Hollywood, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Motion Pictures. 


At just 20, he produced his first dramatic feature, The Final Incident, that ran for two weeks at the Laemmle Santa Monica Theatre. Film critic Emanuel Levy from The Village Voice called it “emotionally gripping” and “truly frightening.” His second credit as a Producer was The Ultimate Game, a Martial Arts action-adventure film, produced for the video market, sold worldwide. 


Kayvon also produced and directed the documentary Empty Hand about four competitors who train to fight against their toughest rivals as they struggle to become the next National Karate Kid Champion; it premiered at DOC NYC.


His film The Real Miyagi, winner of 7 international film awards, starring Steven Seagal, Dolph Lundgren, Micheal Jai White, depicts the life of the greatest karate master of our generation. Acquired by NETFLIX worldwide 2015-2022 

In 2018 Make America Laugh Again, opened theatrically in New York and Los Angeles with favorable reviews, also winning the Audience Award at CINEQUEST. Make America Laugh Again also qualified for the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.


In 2021, Kayvon revisits Mr. Miyagi, this time with a documentary about the prolific actor behind the character, Pat Morita, with More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story.  Starring  Ralph Macchio, Tommy Chong and Henry Winkler. Available worldwide on all VOD Platforms.

In 2022 he produced “Pepe Serna: Life is Art” About a Mexican-American character actor Pepe Serna That’s starred in over 250 films who has paved the way for generations of Chicanx actors in Hollywood. Starring Edward James Olmos, Eva Longoria and  Cheech Marin. The film premiered at he Palm Springs international Film Festival and Austin Film Festival.

Personally, Kayvon has dedicated his life to the art of Karate and holds a Black Belt in three deferent styles.  Japanese Shoto Kan, Shito Ryu and American Kick Boxing 


The two-time TELLY Award winner is the Festival Director / Founder for the Irvine International Film Festival. Last year 11 of the festival’s Official Selections were shortlisted for Academy Awards, with nine Oscar nominations between them. Seven-time Emmy winning actor Ed Asner (Up, The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Academy Award-winning director John G. Avildsen (Rocky), Oscar-Nominated Director Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond). Oscar-Winning Actor Martin Landau ( Ed Wood) all of whom received Lifetime Achievement Awards at IIFF. 




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PAT MORITA DOCUMENTARY - Completed  I  Website

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The Studio



2023 Official Latino Film and Arts Festival - Best Editing "Abuelo"

2022 - 29th Ann San Diego Latino Film Festival -WINNER - AUDIENCE AWARD BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

2022 - South Texas International Film Festival - WINNER - Best Documentary

2022 - 17th Annual Poppy Jasper International Film Festival - WINNER - BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

2021 Sunscreen Film Festival - Best Documentary

2021 IIFC - Best Director and Best Documentary

2021 World Music & Independent Film Festival - Best Documentary

2019 Cinequest  - Audience Award Best Documentary 

2019 L.A. Edge Film Awards Best Documentary Feature 

2016 Winter fest awards  - Best Documentary Feature 

2015 Asian Pacific American Film - Best Documentary and Audience Award 

2015 Canada International Film Festival  - Raising Star Award  

2015 Action On film Fest  - Best Documentary Feature, Best Editing & Best Director

2015 Arizona Underground Film Festival  - Best Documentary Feature


Interviews with Kevin Derek 

CBS - Great Day LIVE with Director Kevin Derek 

ABC - Morning Blend with Director Kevin Derek and Evelyn Morita 

TODAY Show with Director: Kevin Derek

VIEW OF THE ARTS Written and interviewed by Maggie Gogler

HEAVY By Nicole Moore 

DO YOU REMEMBER - The Tragic Story of ‘Happy Days’ and ‘The Karate Kid’ Star Pat Morita Revealed in New Documentary 

TV RETROVISION -  Director Kevin Derek, 'More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story'

VOICES FROM KRYPTON -  Filmmaker Kevin Derek on ‘The Karate Kid’ Star Pat Morita

TALKING PICTURES - Kevin Derek & Don Most

TV INSIDER - 'More Than Miyagi' Docu Tells the Incredible Story of the Late 'Karate Kid' Star Pat Morita

THE RALPH REPORT - Interview with Kevin Derek

YAHOO! JAPAN -  "The Karate Kid" Pat Morita's Unknown Life What is the "real face" revealed by the documentary director

MATT"S MOVIE REVIEWS Interview with Kevin derek

DEN OF GEEK - More Than Miyagi Director On Honoring Pat Morita

REVIEW NATION - Director Kevin Derek & wife Evi Morita

PACIFIC CITIZEN (Japanese American Citizens League Magazine) 

CHATFLIX PODCAST (Australia) Episode 264 Interview with Kevin Derek

CINEMA SAVVY (UK) Interview with Kevin Derek

KSNV Derek Sante talks with director of 'More than Miyagi'

Kung Fu Kingdom  (USA) Janurary 2018 by: Ramon Youseph 


Black Belt Magazine (USA) March 2017 by: Patrick Xavier, 

Los Angeles Times  9 January 2014, by: Michael Miller, "Moviemaker looking to sweep the board"

Tae Kwon Do Times - Page 25-27 Volume 36 No.6 Issue 214

Budo International   May 2014, Issue. May, pg. 78-103, by: Don Warrener, "The Real Miyagi"

Black Belt Magazine (USA) December 2010, Vol. 48, Iss. 12, pg. 73-76, by: Patrick Xavier, "Empty Hand"

LALIFF "ABUELO" Film Festival Premiere

NovelPro Junkie

CHATFLIX Episode 264 Interview with Kevin Derek


Knockin' Doorz Down | Director of “More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story” Trauma Survivor and Inspiration

Cobra Kai Kid Kevin Derek: Director of "More Than Miyagi" (A Pat Morita Documentary) - Full Interview!

The Screen Chatter Interview with Kevin Derek and Don Most

Cobra Kai Theory

Matt's Movie Reviews podcast

Legends & Masters Show

TV RetroVision

Podumentary More than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story: Directed by Kevin Derek

Cine Bijou In Conversation with Kevin Derek

The Ralph Report

Karate Kid Fanatics



L.A. Times - 5 Movies to See at LALIFF


YAHOO!  More Than Miyagi trailer: New documentary explores Pat Morita's life and career

YAHOO! NEWS - Documentary on Iconic Actor Pat Morita Explores His Struggles With Depression

IMDB (via MovieWeb) More Than Miyagi Trailer Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Karate Kid Star Pat Morita

DAILY MAIL - The Karate Kid's Pat Morita and his iconic character 

ET CANADA - The Late Pat Morita’s Life Beyond ‘The Karate Kid’ Revealed In ‘More Than Miyagi’ Documentary Trailer
Martial Arts Guardian   (USA) March 2015, Vol. #1, Issue. #1, pg. 16-21, by: Steve Rowe, "The Real Mr. Miyagi"

OC Weekly  (USA) 20 February 2015, by: Aimee Murillo, "The Real Miyagi Honors Martial Arts Legend With Two Screenings Tonight"

OC Weekly  (USA) January 2013, Vol. 17, Issue. 20, pg. 30, by: Matt Coker, "Hidden Gems"

OC Weekly   (USA)  January 20, 2014, by: Aimee Murillo, Irvine international film festival brings indie flair to Laguna

O.C. Register  (USA) Irvine International Film Fest has grown bigger, more selective by Antonie Boessenkool  / Staff Writer

L.A. Times  (USA) February 27, 2015 by Michael Miller

Meridian Booster 11 May 2015, by: Simon Arseneau, "Real Mr. Miyagi gets his story on screen"

O.C. Register (USA) 11 January 2012, by: SAMANTHA SCHAEFER, "Irvine International Film Festival launches"

Studio Photography (USA) 1 April 2006, Vol. 9, Iss. 4, pg. 10-13, by: Elizabeth Friszell-Neroulas "Cinematic Celebrations"

Hollywood Scriptwriter (USA) April 2005, Vol. 25, Iss. 2, pg. 25 & 25, by: David Allen Rigsby, "The Trap"

Indie Slate (USA) 2005, Vol. 9, Iss. 40, pg. 20 & 21, by: Sam Chouia, "Falling into the Trap"



FILM THREAT "ABUELO "…a sweet story about family with a slightly dark and twisted ending... 8/10 "

THE IDEPENDENT CRITIC "Abuelo"  is an Engaging, Thrilling Short 

POPBREAK (UK) Review ‘More than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story’ is a Touching and Intimate Tribute

CHICAGO SUN TIMES - ‘More Than Miyagi’ waxes poetic about Pat Morita’s charms and struggles

ABC 4/Good Things Utah - Plan your weekend with movie reviews 

WGN AMERICA - ‘More Than Miyagi’ explores complex life of Pat Morita

KGUN 9 (Tucson, AZ) - 'More Than Miyagi' doc unveils the man behind 'Karate Kid' legend

BLEEDING COOL - More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story Chronicles Actor's Life

MOVIEWEB - More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story Review: A Fascinating Retrospective of an American Icon

THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS (UK) ‘More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story’ Review; Dir. Kevin Derek (2021)

DAILY MOTION (via Newsy)

L.A. TIMES  'Travel Ban' tackles intolerance through humor  - Gary Goldstein

Film Treat  Make America Laugh Again"  9 out of 10 - Bobby LePire

Screen Picks  "Entertaining from the get go"  - Ian Murphy 

Tae Kwon Do Life Magazine   "The Real Miyagi is masterful storytelling that has something for everyone" -Marc Zirogianiis 

The Daily Beast  "A new documentary looks back at Demura's astonishing, influential life"

Meniscus Magazine "I highly recommend this film" -Paul Kazee 

Examiner "Brilliant Film". "5 Stars" -Bobby Blakey -Dallas Movie Examiner 

TKD Life Magazine "Empty Hand" 

KnockOut Magazine" Empty Hand" 

AXS "Empty Hand" 

Senshin: The Enlightened Mind 

Fantasia 2015 "The Real Miyagi" "The Real Miyagi is a superb documentary"- Eric S. Boisvert

Rafu Shimpo L.A. Japanese Daily News 2016 

SAAFF "Kevin Derek did a fantastic job" 

Reseda Daily News "I think any Karate Kid fan needs to see this documentary" 

TK Times "Riveting Documentary" -Robert Barnes 


Magazine Cover

Payam Ashena  (USA) December 2015, Vol. 26, Issue. 310

Studio Photography (USA) 1 April 2006, Vol. 9, Iss. 4, pg. 10-13, by: Elizabeth Friszell-Neroulas "Cinematic Celebrations

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