Thanks to the support and encouragement of so many family and friends, 2017 has been another year of humbling experiences for which I am extremely grateful. In 2013, I began posting the year's highlights (HERE), a tradition I continued in 2014 (HERE), 2015 (HERE), and 2016 (HERE). The highlights for 2017 are below. Thank you all so very much for your continued support and encouragement.
PS As I publish this on my 42 birthday, I remember one of the most poignant birthdays I have marked; it was 2013 and I was spending the day in Fukushima where no one knew it was my birthday (READ).
"Learning to Say Goodbye", the last column I would write for magazine "5" was published (READ). It was in this column that I came out again in 2015 (STORY). I had the honour of serving as the MC of a press conference about the "Voluntary Evacuees" of Fukushima at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (INFO), and the broadcast of my documentary "Suturing Cultures" on NHK World was announced (STORY).
The second documentary-style PR video I directed for the Imperial Hotel (about its bars and lounges) was released (WATCH). The Director's interview for my film "Suturing Cultures" was published (WATCH).
Events marking the 6th anniversary of 3.11 were held. I was honoured to serve as the MC for the press conference "Yoshiko Aoki, Fukushima storyteller" at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, and I was honoured to screen my film "A2-B-C" and take part in the post-screening discussion via Skype at the event "The Politics of Uncertainty: Reassessing Japan After the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster" arranged by the Japanese Cultural Association at Brown University (READ). I was invited to travel to Canada to screen the work-in-progress of "Sezaruwoenai", the third film in my series about the Fukushima nuclear disaster (INFO) at "The Politics of Invisibility: Fukushima, 6 years after 3.11" (INFO) which was held at the University of British Columbia with sponsorship from the Centre for Japanese Research (INFO); a second screening was held at the Prince Takamado Japan Centre, University of Alberta and the Centre for Japanese Research, University of British Columbia (INFO).
The third installment of the documentary-style series I directed for the Imperial Hotel Tokyo (about their tea ceremony room) was published (WATCH). I marked one year since I live-Tweeted the reunion between a dying father and the son he had not seen in 30 years (Mr. Hata and T) by publishing the story in Japanese (INFO).
I attended the East Coast Premier of the award-winning short documentary "Acres of Diamonds", directed by Shawn Small, on which I served as one of the producers (STORY). The World Premier of "Boys for Sale", directed by Itako and for which I served as the Executive Producer, was announced (READ).
The World Premier for "Boys for Sale" was held in front of a sold-out crown in Germany (STORY), The North American premier of the film in LA's OUTFEST was announced (INFO), and the first of several deleted scenes was published (WATCH).
The North American premier of "Boys for Sale" was held in LA (INFO) where it was also awarded at the closing ceremony (STORY). Part one of the documentary-style PR videos featuring the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright for the Imperial Hotel was published (WATCH).
More screenings of "Boys for Sale" at festivals across the world were announced (INFO).
While even more screenings of "Boys for Sale" at festivals around the world were announced (INFO), I attended the Dutch premier of the film (STORY).
I attended the UK premier of "Boys for Sale" in London's Raindance (STORY). My NHK World-commissioned documentary "Dying at Home" was re-broadcast (INFO). Nine more screenings of "Boys for Sale" were announced (INFO) while the film received "Best Documentary" in South Africa (STORY). The New York premier of "Boys for Sale" was held in NewFest (STORY).
More screenings of "Boys for Sale", including the Australian premier, were announced (INFO) as was the Japan premier (INFO). "Boys for Sale" received TWO more awards for Best Documentary in Mexico (STORY) and in Ecuador (STORY). The Japan Times published a full page article about "Boys for Sale" (READ), and the Japan Premier of the film was standing room only (STORY).
A four-page feature about my documentary work in Japan was published by the Metropolis magazine (READ). Part two of the documentary-style PR videos featuring the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright for the Imperial Hotel was released along with a 40-second commercial (WATCH). I screened my documentary “Suturing Cultures” at the 9th Asian Medical Education Association Symposium cum Frontiers in Medical and Health Sciences Education 2017: “Preparing Healthcare Learners for a Changing World" at the University of Hong Kong (STORY).