Most people are aware of the tragedies that struck Japan earlier this year, but what is it really like to be involved? What kind of suffering is still going on? This project (hopefully being funded by you on indigogo) aims to bring more emotion to the struggles. And in so doing, they hope to increase fundraising for the ongoing needs of the people of Japan.
My name is Zak Baney along with Minha Kim. We just came back from shooting a short film in Sendai, Japan, which is the hardest hit area from the March 11 tsunami.
We are filmmakers so we thought about what is the best way we can help in this time of despair. It is to use our skills and talents as filmmakers and make a film that we can put into the hands of a wider aspect of audiences, to tell a story through the images of the disaster in a cinematic way and to show the outcome of the tsunami in its fullest.
Our short film, “Last message”, is the story of a wealthy Japanese woman who is trying to find her grandfather, after receiving a message from him, just prior to the earthquake. As her parents died when she was young, her grandfather is the only family she has left, so she is desperate to make sure he is OK. However, learning that his village was hit by the tsunami, and she is still unable to call him due to communication lines being cut, she decides to personally go and search for him. Her journey takes her through the chaos of the aftermath as she deals with obstacles, scenes of horror and of hope as she tries to get to her grandfather's village. Throughout this search she comes to realize that human bonds are far more important than material wealth.
Our attendant audience is any and everybody that was not in the tsunami hit regions on March 11, meaning the rest of the world. The film is in Japanese and will be subtitled into English and Korean.
Our main achievement for this film is to do something positive and gain more awareness for all the people in the Tohoku region. Many people in the world are aware of the occurrence of the earthquake and tsunami, however, there is not enough information for them to realize the pain and hardship the people in Tohoku have been suffering, especially for those who are overseas. By raising the awareness, we hope it would contribute to the disaster relief and recovery.
Swit Electronics and Rode Microphones helped sponsor this project by giving us HD monitors, batteries, chargers, converters, lav mics. They understood our image and knew that we would be out in the field for 3 days without access to any power. Without them helping us, it would have been impossible for us to shoot this film.
The film will be sent to the Sundance film festival in September, and then we will send it to all the other international film festivals. When all that is done, we will send the final master to NHK broadcasting company.
We are not in association with any charity for this film, however, when we do the screenings of the film here in Osaka and Tokyo, we will turn those events into charity events and all the proceeds we make will go directly to the shelters in Sendai, Minamisanriku, Ishinomaki as we have a more personal relationship with them from when we were up there shooting this film.
Our hopes for this film is to gather awareness for Japan and to make sure what people in those affected area had to go through will never be forgotten. It is also to encourage people to help others in any positive ways.
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)