Sunday, June 18, 2017

Producing, Promoting

Following the World Premier of "Boys for Sale" in Frankfurt, Germany last month (STORY),  this review of the film by Noah Franc was recently published (HERE).  Our entire team is extremely grateful for this thoughtful reflection on the stories of the young men we documented.


And amid filming/ editing a couple of installments of a series of short documentaries I have been commissioned to direct,  I am also busy preparing for the North American Premier of "Boys for Sale" (WEBSITE) on which I worked as producer.

As part of the PR promotion for the July 12 screening in LA's OUTFEST (Tickets and INFO HERE), we are publishing some "extras".  These include over 30 "postcards" (like the one below), which are illustrations from the film that can be saved as wallpaper on smartphones and are being published once a day until the screening on July 12 (they can be found on the film's Twitter account HERE and Facebook page HERE).

Outfestでの北アメリカ初上映までの間、毎日N谷工房のイラストを投稿するよ。スマホの壁紙にいかが?

Also being published are a series of "deleted scenes", short clips that are really interesting/ funny/ shocking but for one reason or another simply didn't make it into the final version of the film. The first one of those was published today (which is below and NSFW!) and will be followed by a new one each week until the screening in OUTFEST.

今週末から毎週、来月ロサンゼルスで開催されるOutfestでの北アメリカ初上映までの間、映画の未公開映像を投稿していくよ!未公開シーン1つ目、ようちゃんがウリ専と高級ハンドバッグの類似点を説明してくれてる・・・。

And we also have a new poster designed by our animator Jeremy Yamamura with our DOP Adrian "Uchujin" Storey's screenshots and our artist N Tani Studio’s illustrations.

新ポスターは、宇宙人の画像とN谷工房の絵をジェレミー山村がデザインしたよ。

And look at how cool this is! OUTFEST has sent us our very own GIF!

すごい!OUTFESTからGIF画像が届いたよ!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

North American Premier of "Boys for Sale" to be held in LA's Outfest 「売買ボーイズ」ロサンゼルスのOutfestにて北アメリカ初上映

After holding an extremely successful World Premier in last week's Nippon Connection film festival (STORY), and as the producer of the documentary, I am honoured and excited to announce the North American premier of 「売買ボーイズ」 (Boys for Sale) in next month's Outfest film festival in Los Angeles!
先週行われたニッポンコネクションでの世界初上映が大成功を収め、来月ロサンゼルスで行われる映画祭OUTFESTにおいて、「売買ボーイズ」の北アメリカ初上映が決定しましたこと、プロデューサーとして皆さんにお伝えできることを光栄に思います。



Screening information is below; thank you all for sharing with people in the LA area who may be interested!  I look forward to sharing more information about this screening as we learn it as well as more about future screenings as they are confirmed.
上映情報は下記の通りです。シェアー頂きありがとうございます。
今回の上映について、また今後の上映情報についても、
これから皆さんにお知らせできることを楽しみにしています。
================================

「売買ボーイズ」 (Boys for Sale) will be screening
Wednesday, July 12 at 5:00PM
in the Director's Guild of America (Theatre 2) 

「売買ボーイズ」 上映情報
日時:7月12日(水曜日)午後5時
会場:
Director's Guild of America (Theatre 2)  


Film Website 売買ボーイズ  ウェブサイト:
http://boysforsale.com/

Film Trailer 売買ボーイズ  トレーラー:
OUTFEST Festival Website 映画祭ウェブサイト:
http://www.outfest.org/fest2017/outfest-los-angeles/

OUTFEST Festival Program 映画祭プログラム:
http://www.outfest.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/2017_OutfestLosAngelesFilmGuide.pdf

Thursday, June 01, 2017

"Boys for Sale" holds World premier in front of a full house

Traveling with Co, one of the protagonists of "Bai-Bai Boizu" ("Boys for Sale" in English WEBSITE), to Frankfurt, Germany, last Monday, we were warmly met at the airport by Nippon Connection (INFO) festival volunteers.  After dropping off our bags at the hotel, festival programmer Martin Bregenzer accompanied us to 10 gay businesses to hand out postcards for our film; since the screening was on only the second day of Nippon Connection, we had decided to arrive in Frankfurt a day early so we could get in some PR time in before the start of the festival.
After a packed opening ceremony and interesting/ slightly disturbing opening film ("Her love boils bathwater" INFO), it was time to prepare for our screening the next day (and of course see lots of other films as well!). our screening INFO.
Since we had not publicly screened "Boys for Sale" before, I was feeling nervous about what the audience reaction would be...and our screening selling out made me even more nervous even though coming to Nippon Connection for a third time was like coming home.  Athough representing a film as a producer and not the director had made me feel a bit more relaxed in general, the adrenaline rush of watching a film you have worked on with a full house was equally intense and only served to add to the addiction I have to making films.
Since our screening slot was the last for the night and the following day was a national holiday, the Q&A was longer than most- at around 40 minutes.  To be honest, it is still kind of a blur, but I remember feeling the audience had really engaged with the film and had really connected with Co.  Their questions were honest, thoughtful and deep, and I left the theatre feeling humbled that so many people had interacted so thoroughly with the story we had presented.
photo via Twitter @Schlopsi
We have a few more irons in the fire, and I look forward to sharing more about upcoming screenings as we confirm them with festivals.  In the meantime, thank you all so very much for your support.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Boys for Sale

Two years ago, I first began to talk about a film I was making with the working title of "MSM: Men Who Have Sex With Men".  As documentaries often do, the film ended up taking much more time (years!) and much more money (tears!) to complete than any of us had expected.  But I am happy to announce that the film is finally finished!

STORY
Now called 「売買ボーイズ」 (bai-bai boizu) or "Boys for Sale" in English (WEBSITE), the film documents "urisen"- mostly straight, young guys who sell sex to men- in Tokyo's largest gay district.  The trailer, which is NSFW and for which viewer discretion is advised, is here:


SCREENINGS
"Boys for Sale" will be holding its World Premier in Frankfurt, Germany, next week at the 2017 Nippon Connection Film Festival (INFO).  Nippon Connection is also where I was honoured to receive an award for my film "A2-B-C" in 2013 (STORY) and for my film "-1287" in 2015 (STORY).  Incidentally, the subtitles for "Boys for Sale" were produced by Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA) as they were the sponsors of the subtitling award I received for "A2-B-C" at Nippon Connection in 2013!

I am really looking forward to announcing more screenings in the coming weeks and months and thank you all for sharing about this film with people you think would be interested!


CHANGES
Two years ago when we first began shopping the rough cut around to festivals and friends in the industry, it became clear that the documentary would benefit from undergoing some significant changes.  At the same time, however, I had become busy with work on what would eventually become two commissions for the NHK World documentary series "Inside Lens" (2016's "Dying at Home" INFO and 2017's "Suturing Cultures" INFO***).  Knowing I needed to turn fuller attention to those documentaries, I felt the best decision I could make for "Boys for Sale" was to step down as director, although I remained producer overseeing the completion of the film. 

I brought on a new director, Itako, who was in charge of taking apart the original edit, shooting new footage and then putting it all back together.  He also directed the two music composers who created an entirely new and original sound track, as well the illustrator who was commissioned to draw over 300 original illustrations for the documentary (of which about 100 ended up being used in the film). 

THE OTHER TEAM MEMBERS
I would like to give a shout out to some of the other "Boys for Sale" team members, for their incredible work:

  • Our amazing DOP/ producer Adrian Storey aka Uchujin (WEBSITE and TWITTER) who handled not only TWO cameras, but also lighting AND sound in some of the smallest spaces imaginable!
  • Our two awesome composers working under the name Kazaguruma, Jack on Shamisen (TWITTER) and Komitetsu on cello (TWITTER).
  • Our illustrator N Tani Studio (WEBSITE and TWITTER) whose sensitive drawings completely changed the film.
  • Our animator Jeremy Yamamura from Denbak-Fano Design (WEBSITE), who animated N Tani Studio's illustrations, as well as painstakingly created special animated blurs to help protect the identity of the young men in the film who requested it.
  • Our talented story editor Sarah Lushia, who worked with Itako on editing the narrative for an international audience.

REFLECTION
"Boys for Sale" is certainly one of the edgiest films I have been a part of, and considering some of the projects I have worked on, that is saying something.  ;)  But in all seriousness, working on this film has been a massively interesting experience, and I have learned so much about group dynamics, about how music and animation can be used in a documentary, and about myself.

*** "Suturing Cultures" will be re-broadcast on May 29 TIME SCHEDULE HERE.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Acres of Diamonds

Over the past year, it has been my great to honour to serve as one of the producers of award-winning documentary filmmaker Shawn Small's latest short film, Acres of Diamonds (INFO).


I first met Shawn four years ago at the Global Peace Film Festival (STORY) when he was screening his film "Ru: Water is Life" (INFO), and I was screening my first film about children in Fukushima, "In the Grey Zone" (WEBSITE).  After keeping in touch and offering moral support to each other on various projects, I was thrilled when Shawn asked me to help out on his new film, "Acres of Diamonds".

Focusing mainly on story and narrative editing, I was thrilled when the finished film began to be accepted into festivals.  When Shawn asked me to represent the last weekend's East Coast premier of the film at the Nepal International Film Festival (INFO) while he attended the West Coast premier in LA (where the film subsequently won the prize for Best Short Doc), I was honoured to accept.  One of the festival organizers, Purna Singh Baraily, chairperson of the Human Rights Film Center in Nepal, was also among the friends we had met at the 2012 Global Peace Film Festival (STORY).


In addition to directing my own documentaries, I am really enjoying recent opportunities to assist with the films of other filmmakers, to teach at university and to mentor students through internships.  Thank you all so very much for your continued support of my work.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mr Hata and T: one year later

For the one year anniversary of Mr. Hata and T's reunion (STORY), over the past three days I have retweeted each part of their story translated into Japanese at the exact same time as the original English Tweets were posted. May their story remind us of what is important-- health, family, happiness-- and of the preciousness of life.

日本語版) 『Mr.ハタとT:余命わずかの男と息子の30年越しの再会』


Original Storify English version HERE

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Imperial Hospitality: Story from the Imperial’s “Toko-an” Tea Ceremony Room

Part 3 of the series I am directing for the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, has been published on the Imperial Hotel website.  The column, which includes a documentary-style video, features the Imperial’s “Toko-an” Tea Ceremony Room.  A direct link can be found HERE.


A link to Part 1 can be found HERE, while a link to part 2 is HERE.