Saturday, March 19, 2011

Benefit screenings abound to help Japan

by Chris MaGee

Everyone I know is trying to help post-quake/ tsunami Japan in the best ways they know how. My friends in bands are planning benefit concerts. My friends who are amazing cooks are planning bake sales and BBQs with all procceds going to Japan relief. Of course my friends in and around that Japanese film industry are doping what they know how to do best - screen films. Here are just a few of the benefit screening that friends of the Pow-Wow are planning for the very near future.

Jasper Sharp and the folks at Zipangu Fest have already set up a benefit screening of the animated films of the CALF collective that will take place at the ROXY Bar and Screen in London on April 3rd at 6:00PM. Titled Beyond Anime: CALF Animation the programme will bring together the best of the animators released by the indie DVD label including films by Atsushi Wada, Mirai Mizue and light artists TOCHKA (above). For more details on Zipangu Fest's "Beyond Anime" benefit click here.

Meanwhile Yuko Shiomaki, the president of Pictures Dept. has gone the extra step of not just setting up benefit screenings but also founding her own relief fund, Support Japan - GAMBARE, which is being run through JustGiving Japan. Shiomaki has already set up a benefit screening of Masaaki Taniguchi's "Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" at this year's Hong Kong Film Mart on March 24th at noon. All the proceeds will go to Support Japan - GAMBARE/ JustGiving.

It looks like Shiomaki-san has also spilled the beans on a Toronto benefit screening being put on... well, being put on by us, the J-Film Pow-Wow. We have been in talks with Pictures Dept this week to screen Yosuke Fujita's 2008 comedy "Fine, Totally Fine" here in the city. The film itself is locked, and that's probably why she mentioned it to Jason Gray who mentioned it on his blog. That's totally fine! (In keeping with the film's title.) We still have not locked a theatre for the event though, but we hope to make the announcement with the name of the venue by the beginning of next week. Suffice to say that it's a great film and that all the proceeds from the screening will be going to Support Japan - GAMBARE/ JustGiving... not just a portion, but ALL of the proceeds.

Check back next week for more details, but until then check out the trailer for "Fine, Totally Fine" below.

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