Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SIX more Premiers announced for "Boys for Sale"

Following a packed house screening at the World Premier in Germany in May (STORY) and the North American Premier in LA's OUTFEST last month where "Boys for Sale" was awarded (STORY), as the executive producer of the film I am honoured to announce SIX more premiers in festivals around the world.  Upcoming screenings include the UK Premier in the 25th edition of London's prestigious Raindance Film Festival (INFO)!  I have had the honour of attending Raindance twice before, in 2013 with my film "A2-B-C" (STORY) and in 2015 with my film "-1287" (STORY).

To coincide with the upcoming screenings, the "Boys for Sale" website has been newly redesigned to include deleted scenes and links to articles that have been published about the film.  Information on the upcoming screenings, which are listed below, can be found there (WEBSITE).


African Premier
2017 Durban Gay and Lesbian FF
Aug 25- Sept 3 (South Africa)




Michigan Premier
2017 Trans Stellar FF
Sept 9 (Detroit, Michigan





UK Premier
2017 Raindance Film Festival
Sept 20- Oct 1 (London)



Dutch Premier
2017 Camera Japan
Sept 21-24 (Holland)





Palm Springs Premier
2017 Cinema Diverse
Sept 21-24 in Palm Springs, CA




Mexico Premier
Queer FF Playa del Carmen
Nov 13-18 (Mexico)








 Asia, Berlin and NYC Premier announcements coming soon!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Imperial Hospitality: The Wright Imperial (Part 1)

Last year, I was commissioned to make a series of three documentary videos for The Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.  Each episode, which was accompanied by a column I wrote, featured employees of the hotel speaking about their work caring for the hotel's guests.

Earlier this year, the commission was expanded to include a two-part piece about the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright's design of the second-generation of The Imperial Hotel.  Part one of this two-part peice was published today by the Imperial Hotel as part of their celebration and events surrounding the 150th anniversary of Wright's birth.

As always, my focus was on the employees of the Imperial: this time through the eyes of Ms. Koike and Mr. Ishihara both of whom worked in the building designed by Wright.  Ms. Koike and Mr. Ishihara have been working at the Imperial for a combined 107 years (!) and continue to serve guests there to this day!  A link to the column with embedded video is HERE, while a direct link to the video is below:



As part of this project, I also directed a 40-second commercial which I look forward to seeing popping up from time to time.  Part two of this piece about Wright's Imperial connection is scheduled to be published later this autumn.

I would like to give a special shout out to our amazing team, including our photography/ lighting department led by DOP Matsudaira Naoyuki and our coordinator/ producer Tanaka Sakae.  And while I composed the main theme music used throughout the entire campaign, it was brought alive by the talented musicians who arranged and played it.  The Main track, Jazz version and Wright version were led by arranger and pianist extraordinaire Onuki Yuichiro, with Tani Motoaki on bass, Adachi Hiroshi on drums and Aki Yoshihisa on violin.  The Japanese and big band versions were arranged and played by the awesome Komitetsu.

***** UPDATE August 2, 2017 *****

The 40-second commercial I directed for this campaign was just published:

***** End UPDATE *****

Links to the previous episodes I directed for the Imperial can be found below:

Imperial Hospitality (Part 1): Stories from The Imperial Floor (Nov 2016)
http://ianthomasash.blogspot.jp/2016/11/active-duty.html

Imperial Hospitality (Part 2): Stories from The Imperial’s Bars and Lounge (Feb 2017)
http://ianthomasash.blogspot.jp/2017/02/imperial-hospitality-part-2-stories.html

Imperial Hospitality (Part 3): Story from The Imperial’s “Toko-an” Tea Ceremony Room (April 2017)
http://ianthomasash.blogspot.jp/2017/04/imperial-hospitality-story-from.html

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Boys for Sale" awarded at Outfest!

As Outfest continued, we attended screenings of some amazing films (like the feature documentary "Quest" WEBSITE, one of the best documentaries I have ever seen, and the gorgeous fiction film "I Dreamed in Another Language" WEBSITE).  And in between the screenings, workshops and receptions, Co and I were interviewed about how "Boys for Sale" came to be and about the boys, Co among them, who were featured in the documentary.  On Friday, there was an interview by phone with Mel Magazine's Brian Smith followed by a studio interview with This Way Out Radio's Steve Pride.
That evening, I attended a screening of "‬The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin" (WEBSITE) directed by Jennifer M. Kroot at the gorgeous Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown LA which was followed by an AMAZING q&a with the man himself! 


At the awards ceremony on Sunday morning, I was extremely honoured as the producer of "Boys for Sale" to accept the "Fox Inclusion Outfest Feature" award on behalf of the entire team! The award is new this year and is sponsored by Fox Inclusion, a division of 20th Century Fox, whose support of Outfest and of this award is part of their commitment to social impact, diversity and inclusion in media.

日曜の朝に行なわれた授賞式では、「売買ボーイズ」のプロデューサー、そしてチームの代表として、「Fox Inclusion Outfest Feature」賞を受賞することができ、大変光栄に思いました。この賞は、本年初めて設けられた賞となっており、本映画祭を支援されている、20世紀フォックス社の一部門であるフォックスインクルージョンより提供されました。またこの賞は、彼らのメディアにおける社会的影響、ダイバーシティとインクルージョン(多様性の受容と活用)に対する取り組みの一環として設けられたものとなっています。



L to R: w/ Co, Lucy Mukerjee-Brown, Outfest Director of Programming, & Moira Griffin, Fox Inclusion Executive Director
The next day, Co and I did our final interview for this trip via phone with Q Voice News' Phillip Zonkel from LAX on our way home to Tokyo.


In the past couple of days, we have received some wonderful feedback and several screener requests from other film festivals, and I look forward to sharing news of more upcoming screenings.  In the meantime, some of the interviews we sat for earlier in the week (STORY) have already been published, so here is a cross-section of "Boys for Sale" in the news (articles updated as published):
Teen Boys Are Selling Sex to Older Men in Shinjuku: A New Documentary Investigates (READ) by Annemarie Luck for Tokyo Weekender magazine July 2017 issue
Boys For Sale (2017) Film Review (READ) July 12, 2017 by Jennie Kermode for Eye For Film
Boys For Sale – Life as a male prostitute servicing gay men in Tokyo (READ)
July 16, 2017 by Tim Isaac

“Boys For Sale” Male Prostitutes in Tokyo (READ)
July 17, 2017 by Amos Lassen
The Straight Male Sex Workers of Japan Who Sell Their Services to Gay Men (READ)
July 19, 2017 by C. Brian Smith for Mel Magazine

Boys for Sale Explores Male Sex Workers in Tokyo (WATCH video)
July 18, 2017 by Ashley Jiang for the Advocate
Tokyo “Boys for Sale”: Straight Lads Need to Pay the Rent, Too (READ)
July 19, 2017 by Brandon Judell for Huffpost
My mind goes blank: Inside Tokyo’s gay-for-pay, all-male brothel (READ)
July 28, 2017 by David Grant for Queerty

Boys For Sale (READ)
July 29, 2017 by Queer Guru

Boys For Sale trailer follows Tokyo’s gay-for-pay sex workers (READ)
July 25, 2017 by Ifan Llewelyn for Gay Times

Documentary Goes Behind the Scenes in Tokyo’s Gay-for-Pay Male Brothel (READ)
July 28, 2017 by Luis Damian Veron for Towleroad

A Peek Into the Secret World of Japan’s Male Geishas and Sex Workers (READ)
July 28, 2017 by Daniel Villarreal for Unicorn Booty

「売り専」にフォーカスしたドキュメンタリー映画『売買ボーイズ』、海外で話題に(READ) August 1, 2017 by GENXY
OUTFEST Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival Announces 2017 Award Winners (READ)
July 16, 2017 by Clayton Davis for Award Circuit

LAGoss.com goes inside Outfest for its 35th year (READ)
July 18, 2017 By Iona Kirby for LA Goss

Friday, July 14, 2017

Out on Film

I arrived in LA on Monday for Outfest (WEBSITE) where the North American premier of the feature documentary Boys for Sale (WEBSITE) on which I served as a producer was taking place.  Held at the Directors Guild of America, this year marks the 35th edition of Outfest, which boasts sponsors including HBO, DirectTV Now, and Showtime.  I traveled here with Co, one of the young men who were featured in the documentary.
The day after we arrived, we learned from Lucy Mukerjee-Brown, Outfest director of programming, that our screening, originally set to be held in Theatre 2 (with 155 seats) had been moved to Theatre 1 (600 seats) due to ticket sales!  That was both humbling and a bit daunting:  Theatre 1 is the place where Oscar nominees screen their films for the Academy...

"Boys for Sale" premiered last night (INFO), but from the morning we were busy with promotion and preparation.  First, we learned that a review had been published by Eye for Film's Jennie Kermode who wrote (FULL review HERE:
An intriguing piece of work that captures an underexplored side of modern Japan and provides sex workers with a rare chance to speak for themselves, this is a gem of a documentary, and well worth seeking out.
 
Then we had an interview with Gay Essential's (WEBSITE) hilarious correspondent Terrence Moss-Dujardin.

A fantastic, unexpected and fun time on the Cary Harrison show (WEBSITE).

An interview with The Advocate magazine (WEBSITE).
And of course our North American premier and great Q&A led by Outfest programmer Carlos Hatcher.

This was all followed by drinks in Directors Guild of America atrium with Terrence & our awesome publicist Rob Fleming Jr from Prodigy Public Relations after our screening!

This morning, we excitedly announced on the Facebook page (HERE) and Twitter account (HERE) for the film that we have confirmed upcoming screenings in The Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (August 25- September 3 in Durban, South Africa) WEBSITE, Camera Japan Festival (September 21-24 in Rotterdam, Holland) WEBSITE and the Queer International Film Festival Playa del Carmen (November 13-18 in Quintana Roo, México) WEBSITE. Please Like and Follow the social media accounts for the film for up to date information

Thank you all so much for your support!


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.