The Nichi Bei Foundation Presents the sixth annual …
SAVE THE DATE! … TICKETS WILL BE ON SALE SOON!
A one-day film event commemorating the signing of Executive Order 9066, which set the wheels in motion to forcibly relocate some 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry into American concentration camps during World War II.
Screenings • Discussion with Filmmakers
DATE: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
TIME: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Filmmakers Reception 8-10 p.m.
WHERE: New People Cinema
1746 Post St., San Francisco’s Japantown
WHAT: Films tentatively scheduled (subject to change):
10:30 a.m.: Documenting Family Histories Program
• “First to Go” directed by Myles Matsuno (2017, 20 min.)
A couple hours after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7 1941, Aki Hotel owner Ichiro Kataoka was the first San Francisco Japanese prisoner taken by the FBI from Japantown. Decades later, through a collection of footage, the Kataoka family legacy is being told through Ichiro’s daughter Mary Matsuno, great-grandson Myles Matsuno, and relatives of what this family had endured. Although this was a dark time in America’s history, we find that love and happiness can blossom in the darkest of places.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Born and raised in Los Angeles, Myles Matsuno’s award-winning work is often recognized internationally for his unique approach to providing warmth and emotion through his visual images. Within the past several years, Matsuno has had the opportunity to lead efforts in technical directing for “The Academy Awards,” ABC’s hit television show “Dancing with the Stars,” “NBA Finals,” “Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” and most of ABC’s primetime programming. Since 2010, Matsuno has competed and won several awards throughout film festivals around the country.
• “Yonsei Eyes” directed by Jon Osaki (2016, 22 min.)
“Yonsei Eyes” is the story of two fourth-generation Japanese Americans who embark on a pilgrimage to the place where their grandparents were once incarcerated during World War II. Their journey takes them to the desolate site of the Tule Lake Segregation Center, where they begin to understand the profound hardships and indignities their grandfathers had to endure. Their poignant and reflective exploration into the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans provides a unique perspective from the eyes of youth who will one day have the responsibility of passing along the story of the Japanese American incarceration to future generations.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Jon Osaki is a native San Franciscan and has been producing films since 2010. His initial interest in filmmaking emerged from his desire to share the stories of the Japanese Community Youth Council, where he has served as executive director since 1996. However, in recent years, he has produced or had films screened by the Asian Pacific American Heritage Foundation, the San Francisco Japantown Foundation, and the Japanese Community and Cultural Center of Northern California.
Screenings to be followed by discussion with filmmakers Myles Matsuno and Jon Osaki, moderated by filmmaker Dianne Fukami.
12:15 p.m.: Telling Stories Program
• “One-Two-One-Seven: A Story of Japanese Internment” directed by Brett Kodama (2016, 13 min.)
Sharon Shizuko Okazaki Kodama was only three years old when she and her family, Family No. 1217, were incarcerated at the Manzanar concentration camp in 1942. She remained there until the end of the war in 1945, orphaned when her father killed her mother and then committed suicide. Her story is just one of many from this forgotten and often-ignored part of American history.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Brett Ryoji Kodama is a Japanese American filmmaker based in New York City. He graduated from The School of Visual Arts in 2015, earning a BFA in Film and Video, specializing in film editing. He has worked on a number of projects including short films, music videos, live events and even a TV pilot, and is currently working as a freelance cinematographer and editor in New York City.
• “Henry’s Glasses” by Brendan Uegama (2010, 20 min.)
The Japanese Canadian WWII incarceration experience as seen through the lens of a young boy. In an internment camp in 1945, an eight-year-old boy has a mystical gift that makes the
extraordinary happen. Even to the old and obdurate Mr. Yamamoto, this gift may hold the power
to make a skeptic believe.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Brendan Uegama, is a director and feature film and series cinematographer whose work has appeared in major international film festivals around the world such as Tribeca, Sitges and Toronto and on major networks like Netflix. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Uegama now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. Uegama has directed numerous television commercials and the multi award-winning short drama, “Henry’s Glasses.” This film was based in the Japanese Canadian internment camps, where his father was incarcerated as a young child. In 2016, Uegama shot the series “Van Helsing” and “The Romeo Section” as well as the feature “Electra Woman & Dyna Girl” for Legendary Pictures.
Screenings to be followed by discussions with filmmakers Brett Kodama and Brendan Uegama, moderated by filmmaker Satsuki Ina.
2:15 p.m.: “Hidden Histories: The Story and Legacy of Japanese American WWII Incarceration” program
“Hidden Histories” is a touring program of short narrative films about Japanese American confinement during World War II. Each film tells a personal story dramatizing a different period of this history, starting from Executive Order 9066 (which authorized the confinement sites).
• “The Orange Story” directed by Erika Street (2016, 18 min.)
Koji Oshima is the proud owner of a small corner grocery store, but he must now abandon everything and report to an assembly center, en route to a more permanent confinement site. His belongings, his business – everything must be sold except for what he can carry in one large duffel bag. Up against a wall, Koji receives only one low-ball offer for his store, which he has no choice but to accept. The lone bright spot during this turmoil is the friendship Koji develops with a precocious nine-year-old girl. On the day of his departure, however, Koji is saddened to learn that even this friendship has been tainted by the larger forces of fear and wartime hysteria.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Erika Street Hopman is a producer and director of documentaries, short films, radio programs and educational videos. Her directorial debut, “The Closure Myth,” was broadcast nationally on LinkTV and internationally on AlJazeera English. Her short fiction film “Inside” took Honorable Mention at the Speechless Film Festival and was nominated for a Maverick Movie Award for Best Picture. Erika has acted as location producer for the “NBC Nightly News” with Tom Brokaw, and acted as a production assistant on the “Today Show.”
• “A Song For Manzanar” directed by Kazuko Golden (2015, 18 min.)
“A Song for Manzanar” is based on chapters of a novel being completed by Yoshimi Golden. The film draws upon a true story about the forced incarceration in 1942 of a young Japanese American father, mother, and their toddler son in Manzanar concentration camp located in the Owens Valley near Lone Pine, Calif. The film depicts the relationship between the protagonist in Manzanar and her younger sister who is in Hiroshima, Japan during World War II. The closeness of the sisters is shown in glimpses of childhood experiences, a conversation as young women, and the dogged effort of the older sister to get a letter out of the camp to her sister in Hiroshima.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Kazuko Golden earned an MFA degree in creative producing from Columbia College of Chicago and an MFA from Earlham College in peace and global studies and sociology/anthropology. Her directorial debut and graduate thesis, “A Song for Manzanar,” was accepted into the short film corner of the Cannes Film Festival and a number of U.S. festivals. She worked as crew and talent on feature films and major network TV shows including “Transformers 4,” “Mind Games,” “Betrayal,” “The Vampire Diaries” and numerous documentaries.
• “Tadaima” directed by Robin D’Oench (2015, 15 min.)
George, Akiko, Kaori, and Kazuo return to their former house in the summer of 1945, following the end of World War II and the closure of the Japanese American concentration camps. Arriving home, they find the house ransacked by vandals and in a state of disrepair. Emotions flair and each individual member of the family react differently to the homecoming. While rebuilding their home, the family is able to recover a “takarabako” – a chest of memorable items that had to be left behind before the forced relocation, bringing the family closer together. As the day draws to a close, there is a glimmer of hope that the future holds better days. “Tadaima” honors the legacy of Paul Takagi, 92-year old former internee, WWII veteran, Berkeley Professor Emeritus, and the director’s grandfather. The film stars Toshi Toda (“Pearl Harbor,” “Letters From Iwo Jima”), Vivian Umino, Mackenyu Maeda and Jordyn Kanaya.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Robin Takao D’Oench is a movie lover, a history buff and an avid Rangers fan from New York City. He is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Film & TV (’12) and NYU Stern School of Business in Entertainment, Media & Technologies (’12). He has produced and assistant directed more than 30 independent movies and commercials. Robin is dedicated to making films that are socially aware, historically relevant, contemporarily contextualized and entertaining.
Screenings to be followed by discussions with filmmakers Jason Matsumoto, Kazuko Golden and Robin Takao D’Oench, moderated by filmmaker Eddie Wong.
4 p.m.: “Resistance at Tule Lake” directed by Konrad Aderer (2017, 80 min)
“Resistance at Tule Lake” tells the long-suppressed story of 12,000 Japanese Americans who dared to resist the U.S. government’s program of mass incarceration during World War II. Branded as “disloyals” and re-imprisoned at Tule Lake Segregation Center, they continued to protest in the face of militarized violence, and thousands renounced their U.S. citizenship. Giving voice to experiences that have been marginalized for over 70 years, this documentary challenges the nationalist, one-sided ideal of wartime “loyalty.”
SHOWCASE FILM (followed by Filmmakers Reception):
6 p.m.: “Relocation, Arkansas — Aftermath of Incarceration” directed by Vivienne Schiffer (2017, 81 min.)
In 1942, 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced from their homes on the West Coast and into prisons in the interior. Two of those prison camps were at Rohwer and Jerome in Arkansas, a land of deep racial segregation.
Paul Takemoto grew up in Maryland. His mother and her parents had been imprisoned in both of the Arkansas camps, but he didn’t want to know the details. Ashamed of his Japanese American heritage, Paul was deeply rebellious. He returns to Arkansas with one thought: what does what happened here mean to who I am? Paul is a man of powerful revelations: of his past, of his ancestors’ past, and what they mean to his self-identity. He grieves over lost time and years spent fighting a ghost he didn’t understand.
Richard Yada was born in the Rohwer camp, and his family and several others refused to return to California, where violence against Japanese Americans still existed. Instead, they became sharecroppers in Arkansas. But a code of segregation in the rural South ruled every interaction. A person could be only one of two things: black or white. Where did these non-white, non-black newcomers belong?
Mayor Rosalie Gould was a fearless woman whose deep Southern accent belies a fierce determination. She was a female mayor before there were such things. Some of her old friends and neighbors threatened her life. What about her was so terrible? She had the audacity to see the prisoners not as the enemy, but as Americans who had been wronged. Along the way, the former prisoners and the camp’s art teacher left her their valuable treasure — the haunting art of the camps.
“Relocation, Arkansas” weaves these remarkable stories into a surprising tale of prejudice and perseverance, hurt and healing, and ultimately, the triumph of reconciliation.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Vivienne Schiffer is a native of Rohwer, Arkansas. Previously a senior corporate partner at international law firm of Thompson & Knight, LLP, Vivienne is a documentary filmmaker and author. Her novel about the Rohwer incarceration camp, “Camp Nine,” was named as the If All Arkansas Read the Same Book selection for 2013 by the Arkansas Library Association. “Camp Nine” was awarded the 2014 Suzannah DeBlack Book Award in Arkansas History, and the 2013 Arkansiana Adult Fiction Award, and received a Booklist starred review. “Relocation, Arkansas – Aftermath of Incarceration” is Vivienne’s first film.
Screening to be followed by discussion with filmmaker Vivienne Schiffer, moderated by KTVU Fox 2 reporter Jana Katsuyama.
8 p.m.: Filmmakers Reception in New People Cinema Lobby with food and entertainment.
TICKETS WILL BE ON SALE SOON!
$12 each, first four screenings / $25 “Relocation, Arkansas” (includes Filmmakers Reception)
$60 for all five film screenings (limit 50), includes Reception
(Nichi Bei Foundation Members or Students: $10 / $20 / $50 for all w/Reception)
$20 for Filmmakers Reception (8-10 p.m.)
Call: (415) 294-4655
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*All-day passes limited to the first 50.
Please arrive 15-20 minutes ahead of film screening
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