Friday, July 27, 2018

Two new releases

Continuing a trend of putting out a new documentary nearly every year since 2012 (FILMS), I am extremely honoured to release the trailers for not one, but TWO new films (!).

The first one is called 「おみおくり〜Sending Off〜」, and it is the feature-length version of my public television-commissioned documentary program "Dying at Home" which was broadcast on NHK World in 2016 (WEBSITE).  Following completion of that program, I continued to film for an additional six months and then edit off and on for a year after that.  The result is a story that is more patient/family-focused and observational in style.  I am extremely honoured to be able to share this story of Dr. Konta and her amazing team of nurses, and I look forward to posting more information on the website (HERE) about upcoming screenings as they are confirmed.  In the meantime, the trailer can be seen below:

The second is a documentary short called 「父なる愛生せば」(in English: The Father’s Love Begotten), which is the story of a young man who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was 12.  While the story may unfortunately sound all too familiar, what this young man shares in his heart-breaking and harrowing interview contains details I have never heard before.  The website for the film is HERE and the trailer is below.

I look forward to completing the post-production on these two news films (which for the filmmakers reading this includes locking picture, colour grade and sound mix) later this summer.

I would like to thank my team members who worked so hard with me on these films, as well as all of the supporters of my work whose encouragement over the years has been so instrumental in my ability to keep creating work which has been neither commercially successfully nor self-sustaining.

Acknowledging recent and significant signs that I need a break and time away to reflect, I have made the decision to take off most of the month of August during which time I will be traveling, visiting with family, and deeply considering my path forward in life.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

"Boys for Sale" screens in Tokyo

On Friday night, Boys for Sale (WEBSITE) screened in Japan for only the second time, after last autumn's participation in Tokyo AIDS Weeks (STORY).  

Organized by Professor David H. Slater, the screening was held as part of the Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture Lecture Series 2018 (INFO).  Professor Slater also arranged for me to speak at a lunchtime seminar during the 22nd Annual Asian Studies Conference Japan last week to help promote the screening (STORY).

The screening was held at a venue in the university that holds 150 people.  More than 20 minutes before the start of the event it became clear it was going to fill up, so more than 50 seats were added on the sides and in the aisles of the room.  Those chairs also filled up and some people were left standing (meaning more than 200 people attended!), but at least no one had to be turned away like at the screening last year (STORY).

I was joined for post-screening discussion by Co, one of the film's protagonists, who has also joined us for screenings in Germany and America.  The audience is always so appreciative of the opportunity to hear not only from the filmmakers' side, but also from one of the subjects in the film.  So many wonderful questions were asked, and had it not been for a time limit on the event, it seemed like there were enough questions to carry on for another hour.
Also joining the Q&A was Nakatani Hitomi of N Tani Studios who created all of the drawings that were animated for the documentary.  Hitomi shared with the audience her approach to illustrating the stories of the boys in the film and how these extremely sexually explicit drawings are so remarkably unsexy.

With so many people in attendance, t is clear that there is an audience for this film.  A potential distribution partner who attended the screening later told me how watching the film with a group of 200 people- where you could hear them laugh, express surprise and feel the tension in the room- was like seeing a different film from the one she saw on her laptop in isolation.  

Um, yeah, that's why we have cinemas.

Now, let's try to get this film distributed...