What's this Challenge about?
These short films by promising up-and-coming directors will show you the real, contemporary Japan!
Hi, I’m Kenichi Fujimori, President of Office Bird, a talent agency located in Tokyo, Japan. We’re here to ask for your support for two young, promising directors to create short films showing the reality of the contemporary Japanese society.
One explores the dark side of the internet and the love of a family that survives it, and the other captures the Way of Tea in a story set in the modern Japan.
How will those two talented directors grasp and deliver the many different faces of the contemporary Japan? We promise you won’t be disappointed to find out.
What do you know about the contemporary Japan?
After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, you may have heard many stories of loss, courage, dignity, and love from this country. The eyes of the world are still upon us, keen to know what action this country is taking next.
At the same time, Japan has been widely known as a melting pot of entertainment and subcultures including manga, anime, idols, games, and music. The world has also trusted us to be the hosting country of the 2020 Olympics.
The contemporary Japan has so many different faces. A question worth asking is how many people really understand the depth and complexity of the current Japanese society. Even I, someone who was born and raised and now lives in this country, am not sure if I clearly understand the scope of the current Japan and Japanese culture. So how could we deliver that to the world?
Through film was our answer. We believe film is a great way for the audience to experience a foreign world in a realistic and dynamic way. We’d like you to experience the real, contemporary Japan by watching our short movies.
Once the films are completed, we will be submitting them to Yubari International Film Festival, Tokyo Filmex, and other international film festivals and releasing them online to reach out the audience abroad.
We hope people across the world to know the reality of the contemporary Japan and offer them the opportunity to experience our unique, wonderful cultures.
The Two Films
The two films we’re making capture the contemporary Japan in completely different angles and styles.
1. Cracking Life
Directed by Kyuya Nakagawa
The Internet technology and cyber space are highly developed and welcomed in the modern Japanese society. Having easy access to the immense amount of information has radically improved our lives. At the same time, new problems are emerging in this new culture. Kids are being bullied in the cyber space. Young people refuse to leave the house, confining themselves to the virtual world. There have been an increased number of crimes using the Internet. This film vividly highlights those issues in the contemporary Japan through a beautiful story of a family bonded by love.
About the Film
Ever since a certain incident that led him to become the target of cruel bullying in junior-high, Kouhei has been unable to leave his room, let alone his house. In his mind still remained vivid memories of the torturing experience. But when he finds himself facing the threat of a secret cyber-criminal group that has been terrorizing the nation, he decides to uncover their evil schemes. His mother’s unfading love keeps supporting him as he grapples against the huge enemy and slowly comes out of his own dark space. This film throws questions over the issues surrounding the world of the Internet in our current society while unfolding a touching story of one family’s journey in love.
Director: Kyuya Nakagawa
Graduated from Tokyo Eizo Geijutsu Gakuin in 2002.
Having directed a number of films while in school, Nakagawa began studying under Sion Sono, the director of Suicide Club, in 2003 and worked as the assistant director in Sono’s films.
Nakagawa currently works as a film director, producer, sound mixer, and sound effect editor, while collaborating with an actor, Hiroaki Kawatsure, on a project called Dogma 96, creating a series of short films to change the status quo of the Japanese film industry.
1995 Debut as OhPink in “Chōriki Sentai Ohranger”
1996 Became the first Miniskirt Police on “Syutsugeki! Minisuka Porisu.”
1997 Won the 35th Annual Golden Arrow Awards Best Newcomer TV.
Sato is a popular Japanese actress, voice actress, television personality and model, who has appeared on many dramas, variety shows, films, and TV commercials.
Kento Nishimura Kazuhiro Moriya Makihiko Araki
2. In A Daze
Directed by Shinsuke Tatsukawa
A man who has lived a hopeless life meets a mysterious woman in kimono as he is about to face his own death, who takes him on a journey through his past. This unique film explores the traditional Japanese philosophy and spirituality embodied in the Way of Tea such as wabi-sabi, ichigo-ichie, and wakei-seijaku, in parallel with a man’s life.
This man has lived his whole life in vain, doing no good. As he is about to end this hopeless life, a mysterious woman in kimono suddenly appears before his eyes and takes away his memory. “Who am I? What am I?” As he struggles to regain his lost memory, scenes from his past flash through his mind... This film tactfully links the traditional Japanese philosophy and spirituality with a man’s life.
Director: Shinsuke Tatsukawa
1999 Worked on “Vermilion Pleasure Night” (TV Tokyo)
2002 Directed “The Fuccons” (TV Tokyo)
2003 Directed “Vaudevillian Dolls Dont & Not”
2006 Diected “Oronamin C Drink Commercial Battle” (Yoshimoto Kogyo)
Became a lecturer at Broadcasting Arts College in Osaka
2009 Worked on “Milocrorze: A Love Story” (Film)
Tatsukawa has directed many projects including music videos, commercials, and movies.
Cast: Makihiko Araki Yurika Sannoh Genya Nagata Ayaka Oze
How the Money Will Be Used
We are seeking to collect one million JPY on COUNTDOWN. The collected funding will be used for the following:
Equipment rental 400,000 JPY
Costume & transportation 200,000 JPY
Editing & screening prep 200,000 JPY
Labor cost 200,000 JPY
The films are being created by two young film directors and many rookie actors and actresses. Filmmaking is a costly business. While we have been trying hard to fund this project, we still haven’t raised enough. We are hoping to finish most of the filming by the end of October, 2013, and start releasing the films in December.
We will also be submitting the films to Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, Tokyo Filmex, and other international film festivals.
Those films will show you the real world of the contemporary Japan!
We greatly appreciate all your support!