by Chris MaGee
One thing we on the J-Film Pow-Wow can't stress enough to all of you out there is that the tragic aftermath of the March 11th Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is not over, nor will it be over for months and even years to come. The crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant is still occurring, and hundreds of thousands of people are still homeless and living in shelters throughout Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures. What can be done to make the lives of these people better during these horribly trying times? Well, you can keep them entertained with the magic of film.
One organization that has been doing just this is Niji-Iro Rainbow Cinema. This touring project was started up by Saitama-based company Budscene in mid-April. Since then they have been taking distributor-approved Japanese and Hollywood films, like "Free & Easy (Tsuri Baka Nisshi)" and "Harry Potter", to the community centres and gymnasiums where earthquake refugees are still living. Free popcorn is served during each film, and even "Tekkon Kinkreet" director Michael Arias has pitched in donating freshly grilled donair kebabs at selected screenings.
Joining Arias and many, many others in this project are Toronto native Jason Gray and his wife Eiko Mizuno Gray. Gray has been spreading the word via his blog that Niji-Iro Rainbow Cinema is looking for donations to keep the screenings going, and more specifically to bring in more hot meals to feed to the audiences while they enjoy the films. The goal is $5,000 US, but the good news is that YOU can help by heading to Indie Gogo and making a donation to this very worth cause. The deadline for donations via Indie Gogo is September 7th, so please dig deep and tell your friends! Take a look at the video below to get a look at the hard work that has gone into this project and the happiness that it is helping to spread.