Filmmakers’ Market

産地直送 The Filmmakers’ Market Is Now Open!

The Filmmakers’ Market is a new marketplace for documentaries that tears down the walls separating Japanese filmmakers and foreign viewers and allows filmmakers to bring their English-subtitled works in for direct sale, kind of like a farmer’s fresh produce market. We plan to feature not only Japanese but also other Asian documentaries. All of the DVDs are packaged by the directors and producers themselves, so some may have only Japanese on the package or in the booklet (we note as such below), but and all of them have English subtitles.

Available Releases:

Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa

US $ Total running time: Approx. 114 min. / color

沖縄スパイ戦史 *This title is available at Vimeo-on-Demand for private home use only. *Educational streaming licenses are available at Alexander Street. The Battle of Okinawa, in which the arrival of US troops at the end of World War II led to the death of more than 200,000 people, including civilians. Behind it lies a hidden history: […]

The Targeted Island: A Shield Against Storms

US $ Total running time: Approx. . / color

This title is available at Vimeo-on-Demand for private home use only. Educational streaming licenses are available at Alexander Street Synopsis: In Henoko, the construction of the U.S. Marine Corps base continues despite the objections of 80% of Okinawans. In Takae, the Government deployed over 1,000 riot police officers to facilitate the construction of MV-22 Osprey […]

Little Voices from Fukushima

US $ Total running time: Approx. 119 minutes. / color

Little Voices from Fukushima is a documentary film dedicated to Japanese mothers and children living in the post-meltdown world of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. In the course of telling their stories, Director Hitomi Kamanka takes us to Belarus, where we learn from mothers who experienced the Chernobyl nuclear disaster twenty eight years ago.

Holy Island

US $30.00 Total running time: Approx. 105 minutes. / color

Iwaishima Island, part of Kaminoseki City in Yamaguchi Prefecture. On this island in the Seto Inland Sea, the 500 residents have been living by helping each other and sharing things, since that was what was necessary to live in such a harsh natural environment.

We Shall Overcome

US $30.00 Total running time: Approx. 130 minutes. / color

A hundred thousand non-combatants—one in four Okinawans—died in the brutal Battle of Okinawa at the end of World War II. Postwar, the U.S. military forcibly constructed military bases throughout Okinawa. Even today, 43 years since Okinawa’s reversion to Japan and 70 years since the war, 74% of all U.S. military facilities in Japan are crowded onto the Okinawan islands.

Tale of a Butcher Shop

US $ Total running time: Approx. 108 minutes.. / color

In Kaizuka City, Osaka, the family-run Kitaide butcher shop makes its living by raising and slaughtering cattle, selling the meat. From the moment of tension when the hammer drops on the forehead of the cow, cattle are transformed into meat through practiced movements. This labor, traditionally the work of the Burakumin, the outcastes of feudal Japan, is passed down to the next generation by parents, who hope their children will not encounter discrimination as they have. People live by eating the lives of others. This is a record of a family who looks into the nature of life, every single day.

The Horses of Fukushima

The Horses of Fukushima (Matsubayashi) US $35.00 Total running time: Approx. 74 minutes. / color

No one could have ever imagined the absurd fate awaiting Mirror’s Quest and the other horses of Fukushima: almost dying in the tsunami; exposed to radiation inside the 20 km exclusion zone surrounding the nuclear meltdown; left for weeks without fodder; shut away in stables for months because of government red tape.

Fukushima: Memories of the Lost Landscape

Fukushima: Memories of the Lost Landscape (Matsubayashi) US $35.00 Total running time: Approx. 109 minutes. / color

The Enei district of Minami Soma town lies within the 20 km exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In early April 2011, immediately after the devastating tsunami and nuclear meltdown forced people to evacuate the area, filmmaker Yoju Matsubayashi rushed here with relief goods. From a chance meeting with city councilor Kyoko Tanaka, he began making this film. Living together with the evacuees in school classrooms designated as temporary refuge centers, he captured an extraordinary period in the lives of the local people. Interspersed with humorous episodes and deep emotions, the film delves into memories of a local culture that has been taken away by the tragedy.

Flowers & Troops

Flowers & Troops (Matsubayashi) US $35.00 Total running time: Approx. 106 minutes. / color

Inspired by the documentaries of the great Shohei Imamura, under whom the filmmaker studied, this film explores the lives of Japanese soldiers who chose not to return to Japan when the war finished, but who stayed behind in Southeast Asia to build new lives for themselves.

The Last Geisha Madame Minako

US $43.00 Total running time: Approx. 59 minutes. / color

Being the last geisha in Yoshiwara, the only licensed pleasure quarter in megalopolis Edo, which became present-day Tokyo, means she stood at the end of a 400-year-old lineage of women entertainers. From childhood she trained daily in the traditional arts of music and dance, and though she had to sacrifice the kind of domestic bliss most Japanese girls longed for, she built an incredibly full, fiercely independent career before, during and after WWII, “all for the best.” The Madame is sharp—sharper than most of the men she performs in front of—and we’re lucky to have her and the age she outlived together on film.  by Robert Campbell, Professor of Japanese Literature, University of Tokyo