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Lobbying for a 100th Anniversary Festival

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    Ugetsu

    I was wondering if anyone has any ideas and suggestions about how to go about lobbying your local cinema to mark the 100th Anniversary in an appropriate way? I know the obvious answer is to ‘write a letter’, but I would like to go about it in a more organised way, perhaps to find out of there are any resources that could be tapped into, in particular with regard to getting permission to show the films publicly.

    My two local art cinemas are the 2-screen government funded Irish Film Institute and the privately run 4 screen Lighthouse. If its relevant, I think only the lighthouse has a digital projector (I assume these days its easier to get hold of digital copies). I do know that the director of the IFI has an interest in Asian cinema as I attended a course she ran, but thats about it for my personal influence and knowledge.

    Any ideas for how I could start the ball rolling?

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    cocoskyavitch

    Hmmmm you are in Dublin…I’m thinking you might contact the IFI director.

    I’m wondering myself how to get something going. We’ve got a couple of art cinemas (I saw Mongol on Friday…good viewing on the big screen). I am at the university. And, Kurosawa is hugely important to me….but I am also wondering how to begin.

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    Ugetsu

    I just opened up my monthly program for the IFI to find they are showing the new print of Ikiru! Afternoon showing, I think I’ll be sneaking out of my office this week…. 🙄 🙄

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    cocoskyavitch

    Ugetsu, is this the Criterion digital remaster then or a BFI release?

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    Ugetsu

    I assume its the BFI version, so far as I know the IFI does not have a digital projector.

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    cocoskyavitch

    Ah, so IFI is showing a film print, then. Sweet. I wonder how much longer we’ll be seeing things on film?

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    Jeremy

    If they dont have a digital projector, I too would guess it’s a BFI version as digital to film transfer run at least $30,000. Doesnt seem likely for anyone to pay that much for a limited run.

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    cocoskyavitch

    Jeremy you bring up a point…the one we all think about: money. I would just love to get something going for a 100th anniversary series in honor of Kurosawa’s memory and work. But, I know that resources are…tight. The good old university is trying to be sure that the bricks and mortar are in good enough shape to continue to draw kids to a place with rising tuition and reduced job prospects (capital outlays this fiscal year are going to be huge because of years of neglect).

    Man, though, it would be my dream to get something together. I’ve never organized anything really big. Anybody have an idea on how to begin?

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    Vili Maunula

    You might consider contacting Kurosawa Productions. If they are really looking to organise “hundreds of events” under the AK100 project umbrella that year, they might well be searching for possible candidates for those events.

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    Ugetsu

    Thats a good idea Vili, I think I’ll draft up a letter this weekend (I wish my Japanese was up to composing it in that language).

    BTW, I saw Ikiru in the cinema today – wonderful! I took a half day from work just to see it. Although I have to say I was a touch disappointed with the quality of the print. But the big screen definitely makes a difference. Mind you, I brought my Chinese flat mate with me to see it and her verdict: ‘weird’. You just can’t please some people.

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    Jeremy

    The people in charge of all things Kurosawa promotion for the AK100 project is a Japanese company called Total Promotions Inc. (not the be confused with an American company of the same name).

    The same Akio Sakanaka that is Exec. Producer of AK100, to my knowledge is CEO of Total Promotions (Link). All Total Promotions do is push largely Japanese art content worldwide.

    Mr Sankanaka is big player in the higher ups of New York’s art crowd, and recently with some pressure(I think) opened up a New York branch of his company. They are currently inactive, but is them that are the ones that will doing the European, American promotion of Kurosawa sometime before his 2010 birthday.

    In fact Total Promotion has pretty much bank everything on this project, so I would assume would be quite eager to gobble up any willing theater, especially a government back one.

    It would be Total Promotion in which the most success would be had in contacting. I dont as of yet have a specfic contact info, just a few names right now. Well, I actually have a bunch of names and contacts to various big players to this whole thing, but have yet to do anything with them(not that I have any need-yet). It’s sometimes best to avoid getting to high to quick, and I hope to find a upper mid-level person first. I’ll press a few people for details, hopefully more specifics come about. If nothing, I just dump all the information to you guys. Do what you wish.

    There is a contact form on the above mentioned website, but I dont think its the best means of contacting. I suppose it can’t hurt, but if can spare a few days, I might have someone more direct. Of course, I have no idea, if that will be of much use.

    I had similar result for the community project Dersu Uzala, but after some quick success, everything dried up and no real results.

    Still worth a shot.

    :

    While I’m at it, for some time I have been inquiring about a supposed animated film, for AK100, possibly called “Airtight Garage”. And a new project name under the AK100 project, called “DeAgostini Project “.

    I dont know if this has been mentioned before or not, its not exactly secret. I just been waiting for a bit more information before making any mention of it, plus I forgotten about it all, really.

    DeAgostini appears to be DVD collection maker for the UK and France, maybe more of Europe- I dont know. Like I said, I havent put much effort into anything yet. Maybe you all can find some stuff out.

    I found a sample of a calendar that Total Promotion will be making a while back, now it appears on their website- a few changes have been since I visited back in Feb. I wasnt trying to hide from you all, like I said I forgot-honest.

    cal

    You now know just about everything I do on this project.

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    cocoskyavitch

    Jeremy and Vili, you amaze me, with all you know and your connections. I’ll re-read a few times and try to digest and figure where to begin on planting seeds at this end.

    Does this make sense to you:

    1. Contact the Japanese Language faculty here and plant seeds/interest.

    2. Contact the Film and Communications faculty (closer links there) and discuss some ideas

    3. Develop plan and proposals

    4. Contact AK 100 sources

    5. Reconnect/plan with campus depts. and local art house cinemas

    Or, perhaps I should just begin with the film connection and bandy some ideas about to see what my friends think? They know I am nuts about film in general and post-war Japanese film, and Kurosawa in particular.

    Thanks for all the info, gentlemen!

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    Jeremy

    I would hassle your local film commissioner(I assume every major country has something of the sort) as it would be the government that would have the most power to push interest and would likely benefit for the effort. From them, the others will drop into place.

    For example I have the Texas’s film commissioner aware of the project, but no effort has been made. First it’s a bit early and no plans to my knowledge are in place yet by the AK100 people to even inquiry. Second, no one appears to have any more knowledge then me, as to whom to contact. That being something I’m trying to figure out.

    I havent really put much effort into anything, since I’m just going to go to Japan for the whole thing, I would assume it would there that would have the best of everything planned.

    I’ll try to see if I can find anything out- It’s still rather early and I dont think even the AK100 people, yet know what they are going to do.

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    cocoskyavitch

    Wow, Jeremy I envy your ability to be in Japan for Kurosawa’s 100th. I travel a lot for my work, but Japan is not on my list, unfortunately. China is, and today, especially (08-08-08!!!!) I am missing it…wish I could be at the opening ceremonies for the Olympics.

    Anyway, Jeremy, what I am thinking is that we have two major universities in my area-mine, and the bigger and more prestigious one next door. That also means two big historic art house cinemas, two big Japanese language departments, two big cinema/communication arts departments, and a fairly educated and savvy potential audience living here year-round. (At an Ozu screening at the language arts building a surprising number of people showed up…representing every possible color and age…although, admittedly, a rather homogenous economic background). By autumn here the population swells, dinner reservations are hard to get, just negotiating the sidewalks downtown becomes tough-kids are everywhere.

    I’m thinking, in terms of timeline, that getting on the Art House plans for 2010 had better be done now, same for the university calendars, if we are planning anything at the student unions, or on the Japanese film program circuit.

    Finally, I don’t know what is on the table. (I’m not the boss! I don’t even know why I am so interested in doing something. It just seems that time passes, you know, and opportunities should be seized, right?) The Japanese faculty may already have some tentative ideas, or even a full film schedule…who knows? I think it’s allright if I begin inquiries locally, then, if more info becomes available from the AK100 people, that would be great! I’m a bit uncertain as to where to start and how to make something work, but I’ll let you know when and if I have the courage to take that first step.

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    Jeremy

    You dont have anything to lose really, might as well see what happens-Good Luck.

    Where are you located?

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    cocoskyavitch

    Jeremy this was a pretty big weekend for us, and although Michigan is usually in the dumps with a Detroit mayor recently in jail, arguably the worst housing crisis in the nation, the collapse of the auto industry…but this weekend was redemption Olympics-wise. Michael Phelps trains here at U of M (as do some of the other magnificent swimmers). I’m in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, my university is EMU, down the road from U of M.

    Dang, that relay was NUTS and AWESOME!

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