Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Update on "Boys" and other news

Another blog from the airport on the way to a film festival, this time to attend the Nachtschatten Film Festival (STORY) where the Munich Premier of "Boys for Sale" (WEBSITE) will take place. I am so grateful to have been a member of the team that made this documentary and for the amazing reception it has received across the world (AWARDS).

A few days ago "Boys for Sale" also had the honour of being featured in the International Documentary Association's list of 5 documentaries to watch for Pride Month (LINK)!

Meanwhile, I am extremely honored that "Orbiting in the Field: a Taidan (conversation) on Ecology and Filmmaking in Tohoku, Japan" (READ) was published in Duke University Press's Positions Asia Critique. This was four years in the making (!) and came to fruition through the hard work of my taidan partner Professor of Biology and renowned Chernobyl/ Fukushima researcher Timothy Mousseau and guest editors/ conference organizers Lisa Onaga & Harry Wu.  More about that conference in Singapore from four years ago is on my blog (HERE).

October 12, 2014
And my mail box held one other surprise with this week- a producer's gift from Shawn Lee Small, director of the award-winning documentary "Acres of Diamonds".  I am truly honoured to have been able to serve on the team of this amazing film as well (STORY).


Coming up on July 6, "Boys for Sale" will screen in Tokyo at Sophia University (INFO), and despite this Japanese film screening all over the world, this will be only the second time the film has screened in Japan; the first was last year's sold-out screening in Tokyo AIDS Week (STORY).
Time to head to the gate...

Thank you all so very much for support and encouragement over these many years.
Peace and gratitude,
Ian
Tokyo, Japan

Monday, May 28, 2018

"Boys for Sale" awarded in India

I am extremely honoured to announce that "Boys for Sale" (WEBSITE) received the Best Documentary Feature Award on Sunday night at the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival in Mumbai!

「売買ボーイズ」がKASHISH ムンバイ国際映画祭で、昨夜、長編ドキュメンタリー最優秀賞を受賞したことをご報告できますことを大変光栄に思います。

The Jury Citation, which can be found HERE, stated:
“The jury found it unique for its honesty, brutality and integrity. The jury found the blend of form and content remarkable. The film goes into the heart of the matter fearlessly, creating an intense impression for the audience.”

This is the 6th award "Boys for Sale" has received, in addition to THESE five.  
これまでの5つの賞(こちら)に加え、これで6つ目の賞です。

We are next screening in Germany and Chile in June! Information the on “Screenings” page HERE

On behalf of the entire "Boys for Sale" team, we thank you all so much for your support!
次の上映はドイツとチリにて6月の予定です。詳細は「上映」ページ(こちら)をご参照下さい。これからも皆様の温かいサポートをお願い申し上げます。

Friday, April 27, 2018

A dying father reunites with his son, two years later

It is hard to believe that it has been two years since Mr. Hata died.

I first met Mr. Hata in the autumn of 2016 while working on my documentary "Dying at Home", and over the six months that followed, I formed a deep friendship with him and his wife.  During the time I spent with Mr. Hata, I learned so much about family, love and loss, and I shared one of these lessons with the world via Twitter when just weeks before he died Mr. Hata reunited with the son he had not seen in 30 years.

I first published that story with photographs live on Twitter as the father and son reunited and then archived it a few days later on Storify with the title "Mr. Hata and T: a father and a son: a dying father reunites with his son after thirty years" (BLOG).  I then published two follow-up stories, one when Mr. Hata died three weeks later (BLOG) and then when he was buried (BLOG).  A few months later I was invited to write the cover story for the December issue of Number 1 Shimbun, the magazine of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (READ), where I was able to more objectively reflect on the experience of documenting such an intimate and personal story in real time.  To mark the first year after his death, I published Mr. Hata's story in Japanese (BLOG).

This weekend will be the 2nd anniversary of Mr. Hata's death, and I am traveling to Fukushima today to attend the ceremony and visit his grave where I will remember all of the important lessons I learned and which continue to influence me.


Recently I learned that Storify will discontinue its service.  As I hope the story of Mr. Hata will be able to continue affecting and moving people, I have added a page on my website where these photodocumentaries will be archived.  The first three (all about Mr. Hata + the first one in Japanese) can now be found under the PHOTO DOC tab (HERE), where I plan to publish more when the right story calls out to be told in this format.

Thank you all for accompanying me on this journey.
Peace,
Ian

Thursday, April 26, 2018

"Boys" in Thailand, Switzerland and Germany!

While I have been fairly quiet on social media lately, it has been for a great reason- for the past several months I have been working on a couple of really exciting projects, and I am really looking forward to sharing more about them soon!

Meanwhile, the "Boys for Sale" (WEBSITE) team continues to work on arranging upcoming screenings of the documentary.  Earlier this month we were honoured to provide the film for a free community screening in Bangkok that was hosted by OUT BKK (INFO).


Next month, the film will be screening in Switzerland's La fête du slip, during which it will screen everyday during the three-day film festival (May 11, 12 and 13)!  More information can be found HERE.



And in June, we will be screening in Munich at the Nacht Scahatten Festival of BDSM & Fetish Films (!).  As I wrote on this blog earlier this year (HERE):

Of all the niche film festivals that documentaries I have produced have screened at (Japanese, ethnographic, Asian, LGBTQ, environmental, nuclear) I have been most amused by the number of pornographic film festivals to which "Boys for Sale" has been invited.  Among these was the film's Italian Premier in Turin's Fish and Chips Erotic Film Fest on January 20.  I have yet to attend one of these pornographic festivals, but our DOP/ producer Adrian "Uchujin" Storey attended the film's screening in the Porn Film Festival Berlin last October and wrote about it on his blog.  Not for the faint-hearted. ;)
 
More information about the dates/ times "Boys for Sale" at Nacht Scahatten will be posted on the film's website and social media accounts as soon as we receive it.  In the meantime, general information about the festival can be found HERE.


And we are looking forward to announcing our Indian premier at a festival in Mumbai in May as soon as the press embargo is lifted.

It has been almost a year since "Boys for Sale" held its World Premier in Germany (STORY).  Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement over this year!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Marking 7 years since the March 11, 2011, triple disasters

Especially today I remember the disaster and the impact it has had on so many peoples' lives.  And I am profoundly humbled to have had the honour of helping to record some of their voices (READ).

It was an honour to be invited to attend yesterday's performance of the musical "Life for Tomorrow" (complete with English subtitles) to mark 7 years since the March 11, 2011, disaster.  昨日の公演に行かせて頂きました。感動しました。「被災地から未来へ、いのちの伝言“いのちてんでんこ” 2018年鎌倉芸術館 公演。」

‬The producer of the musical, Jujiro Maegawa, interviewed more than 70 people who had been displaced by the tsunami and were living in temporary housing.  It was these interviews that formed the story of the musical which was first performed in 2013.  More information about the show is HERE


Today,  March 11, trains were stopped at 14:46, the time the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake struck 7 years ago to observe a minute of silence.



Monday, February 26, 2018

Selling out in Sydney

With the screening in last week's Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival (INFO), "Boys for Sale" (WEBSITE) has now screened on six continents... with just Antarctica now remaining.  And thanks to travel support from the Japan Foundation of Sydney, I was honoured to be able to attend the screening, which also marked my first time in Australia.
Qscreen Mardi Gras FFでの上映完売について、 国際交流基金のサポートを受けられたことを光栄に思います‬。
with Queer Screen director Lisa Rose
the Queer Screen film page for "Boys for Sale"
The Japan Foundation Sydney website
Between attending screenings at the festival and doing a bit of PR, there was not time for too much sight-seeing, but I did make it to the harbour briefly for the must-have photo in front of the Opera House.  I also spent time at the local cinema where I saw films that will not be released in Japan for months, including "Call Me By Your Name" and "Lady Bird".
with 2SER's What Matters's Nic Healey on his morning breakfast radio show
speaking with Elevan Cooper for his Elevan O’Clock podcast
One of the highlights of attending festivals is getting to meet other filmmakers, some of whom I have met before while traveling on the circuit, like Craig Boreham, director of "Teenage Kicks" whom I met last summer at Oufest in Los Angeles (INFO).
L to R: Craig Boreham, me, Will Sullivan (dir "The Ring Thing") & Mikko Makela  (dir. of "A Moment in the Reeds")
The festival audiences were amazing, enthusiastic and out in full force, and despite having already been moved into a bigger cinema, "Boys for Sale" SOLD OUT all 346 seats the day before our screening!  As always, the post-screening Q&A felt too short, but aside from a question from a sex-worker advocate with an agenda, it went really well and the audience asked great questions and had clearly engaged with the film.

UPDATE:  My conversation with Elevan Cooper for his Elevan O’Clock podcast has been published.  Elevan skillfully disarmed me to the point that I appear to have mistaken the interview for a session with a therapist.  Listen HERE for more about my personal life than most viewers of my documentaries ever wanted to know or I ever intended to share, LOL.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

"Boys for Sale" receives Best LGBTQ Feature at Oxford Film Fest!

I am extremely honoured to announce that "Boys for Sale" (WEBSITE) received the award for Best LGBTQ Feature at the Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi last night! 「売買ボーイズ」がOxford映画祭でLGBTQ長編最優秀賞を受賞!

Ahead of the opening of the festival, Brian Whisenant, head programmer for the LGBTQ+ category, was quoted in THIS DM Online article about the festival which is held in Mississippi:
“Oxford Film Festival has always shown LGBTQ films, but (festival director) Melanie Addington and I believe that highlighting the community and giving it its own section shows our town and the film community at large that we are not our state’s legislative bigotry." 
I had really been looking forward to attending this awesome festival, where "Boys for Sale" was screening twice (INFO) and where I had received the additional privilege of being asked to participate in the Queer Filmmaking Panel tomorrow during which "Filmmakers/actors discuss the challenges, advantages of queer filmmaking as well as the state of LGBTQ cinema in today's climate" (INFO).  Unfortunately, due to deadlines on some upcoming projects (more exciting news on those soon!), I had to cancel plans to attend at the last minute.

from the DM Online article




This is the 5th award "Boys for Sale" has received, in addition to THESE four.  On behalf of the entire "Boys for Sale" team, we are truly humbled by the amazing reception the film has received.  Thank you all so much for your support! これまでの4つの賞(こちら)に加え、これで5つ目の賞です。皆さんありがとうございます!

We are next screening in Oregon’s Corvallis Queer Film Festival (Feb 21) and Sydney’s Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival (Feb 20)! Info on “Screenings” page HERE.  次の上映はアメリカのオレゴン州 (2月21日)とオーストラリアのシドニー(2月20日)です。詳細は「上映」ページ(こちら)をご参照下さい。