Monday, June 13, 2016

Surprises and Symposiums

In June 2013, my film 'A2-B-C', about children living in Fukushima (WEBSITE), was awarded at the World Premier in Germany (STORY).  After a world tour of over 25 festivals and several awards later, the film came home to Japan, and the following spring enjoyed what would eventually turn out to be a 6-week residency at the PolyPoly Higashi Nakano theatre in Tokyo ahead of a country-wide cinematic release (STORY).  After the last screening at the cinema in Tokyo ended with a bang (STORY), 'A2-B-C' then went on to have a second life in so-called "private screenings", also called "four-walling", until all distribution for the film was abruptly and unceremoniously cancelled in March of last year in a move that was seen as some as an attempt at censorship (STORY).  Six months later, the private screening process was re-established, and the film could once again be seen in Japan (STORY).  

Last autumn, I had the honour of attending and speaking at several of these screenings, although with my recent filming and editing work, including the follow film to 'A2-B-C' (STORY), I have not been able to attend a screening of the film for several months.  Yesterday, there was screening of 'A2-B-C' in Tokyo, and although I was not scheduled to attend, I decided to surprise both the audience and the organizers by showing up moments before the film ended.  The organizers were shocked to see me, but welcomed me warmly and asked me to speak to the audience before the post-screening discussion.  It was an honour to speak to the audience, and share with them about the filming I have been doing in Fukushima in the more than three years since filming on 'A2-B-C' finished.

In the evening, I attended a symposium about affects on human health and Fukushima.  One of the presenters, Dr. Ushiyama, is one of the founders of the 311 Thyroid Cancer Family Group (STORY), and for even those who have been studying the problems in Fukushima since the beginning, the symposium was filled with eye-opening information based on research from Chernobyl and the testimonies of patients and families in Fukushima and Northern Tochigi.

with Dr. Ushiyama and my assistant Rei following the symposium

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