Monday, July 30, 2012

New guest blog published by Discovery News

Today Discovery News published my guest blog, "Fukushima Nuclear Ghost Town's Secrets Revealed".  The article and accompanying short documentaries can be found here.

I am honoured to receive this support and encouragement and am grateful for the exposure that this gives not only to my work but also to the issues that continue to plague Fukushima.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back to the US*

I'm off today to the US for a couple of weeks to visit family and friends, and of course, to attend the World Premier of "In the Grey Zone" at the 30th annual Rhode Island International Film Festival (August 7-11).

More information on the festival screening can be found on the film's festival page here.

*SR not included in this trip.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Nice article, bad photo editing

Jefferson Community College (JCC) in Watertown, New York, from which I graduated in 1998, has just published a very nice article about my film work since March 2011 in their quarterly alumni magazine "Jefferson Insider".

A downloadable PDF version of the magazine can be found here, and the article is on page 25.  

The article is accompanied by an old photo of me that I have no idea how they got their hands on (why didn't they just ask me to send them a HQ resolution recent photo?).  The photo it is uncredited (it was taken in Croatia five years ago during a film festival where one of my previous films was screened), and it appears that they have edited it in such a way as to completely blur out my face (!).  Um, should I read something into that?

Here it is:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Posting the Poster

The posters just arrived for the World Premier of my doc "In the Grey Zone".  For more information about the screenings, please click the poster below:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"In Containment" (part 5 of 5) uploaded

I just uploaded both the English and French versions of the conclusion (part 5 of 5) of my documentary "In Containment".  Will write more about this series as soon as I gather my thoughts.

English-subtitled version:

French-subtitled version:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"In Containment" (Part 4) uploaded

I have just uploaded the fourth installment of "In Containment", and am now busily editing the final part.

Already part 4 has received a lot of comments- most of which I try to respond to- and it has been interesting to see how different this part in particular is being received.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Preview Screening of "In the Grey Zone" at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan

There will be a preview screening of my documentary "In the Grey Zone" followed by a press conference on Tuesday, July 24 from 18:00 at the Foreign Correspondents'  Club of Japan in Tokyo.

Journalists can RSVP directly through the FCCJ, and non-journalists can attend as my guest.

The full press release can be seen by clicking the photo below:

Monday, July 16, 2012

New HD TRAILER for "In the Grey Zone" uploaded

In preparation for the World Premier of "Gurei Zoun No Naka" (In the Grey Zone") at the Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival next month (film page here), I have just uploaded a new trailer for the film:

The original trailer was uploaded on May 30 of last year (!), before I had even finished the assembly of the film.  As happens with trailers that are edited before the film is finished, the original trailer contains scenes and interviews with some people that didn't end up making it into the final film.  Not to mention that the original working title was "Killing the Darlings of Minamisoma"... very glad we didn't end up going with that one!  I won't re-post that version of the trailer here, but for anyone who is interested, it is hidden away somewhere on my YouTube Channel.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"In Containment" (part 3) uploaded

I have just posted the 3rd installment of "In Containment".  I look forward to reflecting here on what I have learned through the making of this documentary and some of the stories surrounding the filming of it, but first I must just keep plugging away at the editing of the final two sections. 

Part 3 STORY:  Hiroshi takes Ian into Odaka, the southern-most part of Minamisoma which is between 10 to 20 km from the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima.  After the nuclear meltdown Odaka was evacuated and became part of exclusion zone, and since access has only recently been allowed, much of the destruction remains exactly as it was after the earthquake and tsunami.  Ian speaks with a resident of Odaka about the current state of limbo they are in and their fears for the future.  Later, on his way to the exclusion zone, just 10 km from the nuclear plant, Ian meets a woman and her father who are also heading to the no-go zone to visit their home for the first time since the disaster.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The place where I am from.

I was born in Watertown, NY, USA, and although I moved around a LOT as a child (Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and many other towns in New York State), I eventually found my way back to Watertown where I graduated high school and attended community college.

My friend's parents from those college days just sent me a link to this short documentary about Watertown, NY.  The emphasis is on the city's relationship with Fort Drum, but the images and people are what really warms my heart.

Monday, July 09, 2012

"In Containment" Part 2 uploaded

I have just uploaded part 2 of "In Containment", about the current situation in Minamisoma, Fukushima.

When I was in Minamisoma last month filming this series, I heard that National Diet member Shinjiro Koizumi (son of former Japanese prime minister Koizumi) was in town to conduct an inspection of the evacuation zone.  He was also visiting some temporary shops set up for the evacuees of the March 11 disaster, so I went there to meet and interview him.   While there, I felt he was displaying questionable demeanor towards the victims, so later I went to interview the evacuee who was chosen to give Koizumi flowers during his visit and was on the receiving end of his brand of humour to ask her what she thought of his visit.  

At the end of Part 2, Hiroshi, whom some of you may recognize from the documentaries I filmed in Minamisoma last year, prepares to take me into the 10km evacuation zone.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Heated Debate

Shortly after I published Part 1 of "In Containment" yesterday, published a link to it.  The editor, Grant, did what editor's do and headlined the most shocking details revealed in the documentary:

Each of the two days since the article was published, literally thousands of people have read it.  To date there are nearly 90 comments, and trust me, the debate going on there is not for the faint-hearted.  

I am grateful for the opportunity to have my work viewed, discussed, and above all, to be one of the resources letting people know that the situation in Fukushima is far from over.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

"In Containment", part 1 of new series uploaded

In addition to filming in Iitate Village last month (see: "Nuclear Refugees") I also spent a week in Minamisoma documenting the ongoing crises there 15 months after the nuclear meltdown.  I am still editing the footage, but it looks like it will be a 5-part series, with each part between 6-8 minutes.

Part 1 (uploaded late last night) opens with people in the city of Minamisoma, Fukushima remembering the victims of the tsunami fifteen months after the March 11 disaster.  I then visit the former site of the 20 km exclusion zone where I am questioned by a police officer.  Later, citizens of Minamisoma share the personal struggles they continue to face.

It is this last section, where a group of young people get together and are talking about some of the things they are going through, that was the most disturbing for me.  Until now, I haven't really had a chance to talk with 20-somethings, particularly women, as many of them had been evacuated, and those that remained were unwilling to talk about the difficult decision they had made to continue to stay.

What I found the most shocking was what the women were thinking and doing, given the lack of information from the central government about their safety.  It is truly disturbing.