10 Mar. 2016
This year’s FLY in Higashikawa concluded with the screening of 2 films to the town’s local people on 1st Mar. 2016. After one month of filmmaking and Japanese study at the language school, the 8 trainees left for their countries with new experiences and memories, all covered in snow.
The mission given to this year’s trainees was to make a short film while going to the school to learn Japanese language. The reason we made this hybrid program was because we believe the young filmmakers can truly experience a completely different way of life in Higashikawa by living here as a student. In winter, the temperature can be as cold as negative 20 degrees, while their countries enjoy the equatorial heat. One of the trainees also mentioned the town is very “quiet” especially at night, and that is very different from the environment they grew up in.
Upon their arrival in the end of January 2016, they enrolled in the one-month Japanese learning program provided at the Higashikawa Japanese Language School. The school was launched in 2015 as the very first public language school in Japan. Learning a language is a fundamental process of understanding its culture. The joy of communicating in a new language, even just saying one word that made sense, can open up a new dimension of life. As a filmmaker, we all need inspirations to keep us creative, and shouldn’t be afraid of trying new things and making a failure. All of the trainees never had experiences in learning Japanese, but they managed to learn the basics and put them in use.
For more information about Higashikawa Japanese Language School click HERE.
The classes are in the morning and they spent rest of the day for filmmaking. After one week, each of them came up with a story based on what they experienced in the first week. In the 2nd week they narrowed down their seed ideas and developed one script for the shooting in the following week.
Together with FLY in Higashikawa, this year we launched Artist in Residence program and invited Ellery Ngiam (EN Films), a film/TV director from Singapore. He also stayed in town for 1 month, and helped trainees in every stage of the production. In return, the trainees helped him as crews for his short film.
The daily updates of trainees’ activities can be found in the blog archive (http://snowbugs.jp/fly/blog).
Ran, a vietnamese girl, came to Higashikawa to study Japanese. One day she visits a local community center and finds an old wooden chair.
Tatsuo and Sakura are a Japanese happily married couple. Their life turns upside down when Sakura falls in to coma and wakes up as a Taiwanese woman.