A narrative film written by Yu Shibuya and directed by Dean Yamada. To be shot on location in Tokyo, Japan!
What’s with this project?
Cicada is the first feature-length film from Biola University’s Cinema & Media Arts program! In the past, professor Dean Yamada has traveled with students to Tokyo and Berlin to shoot a series of short films. Armed with Biola’s RED One (the same camera used to shoot The Social Network and The Book of Eli) and a crew of highly motivated, super talented students, they are planning to take this proven model and shoot a feature-length film.
A handful of film schools across the country have tackled this endeavor, and a few up and coming film schools are headed in this direction. The RED One has leveled the playing field amongst film programs across the nation because it has allowed even the smallest programs to attain beautiful images that were only reserved for 35mm film stock less than a decade ago.
What is Cicada about?
Cicada is the story of Junpei-- a man who loses sight of his future when he finds out he is infertile, but then is given the gift of clairvoyance and begins to see glimpses of the future. These glimpses lead him to a series of cicada shells, which are symbolic of his desire to shed his old self. Though his lineage ends with himself, Junpei starts anew as a father-figure to his sister’s young son.
As with Jitensha and Persimmon, there is a depth and humor to Yu Shibuya’s writing, which gives the piece multiple layers. Our goal is to create a film that will bring hope to a country still shaken by the earthquake last March and to create a world that is free of tsunamis.
Who is on-board?
The film will reunite director Dean Yamada with writer Yu Shibuya, actor Yugo Saso and composer Dana Niu of Jitensha and Persimmon. The film will also potentially star Masayuki Yui (Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams and Ran) and Ayako Fujitani (Michel Gondry’s Tokyo!).
What will the funds go towards?
Making a feature film can be an expensive endeavor, especially when traveling overseas. Though the students are paying their own way to Tokyo, we need to pay for equipment rentals, production design, craft services as well as location and actors’ fees. We believe we can make a feature film with very little money without losing quality in the vein of Jitensha and Persimmon. Your donation will go a long way to helping us accomplish this goal.
In 2009, I made a film called Jitensha (Bicycle), which premiered internationally at the 66th Venice Film Festival. This was significant for me because it was shot on a low-grade HD camera with a class of undergraduate students at Biola University. It proved two things: 1) story is king and 2) what we are doing at Biola is special.
Jitensha (Bicycle) went on to win major awards at the Heartland Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Sapporo Short Fest and screen at some of the biggest festivals in the world, including the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, Palm Springs Shorts Fest and Florida Film Festival. I subsequently made two more films with my students—Persimmon, which was shot in Japan, and East of Berlin, which was shot in Germany.
With the incredibly gifted writing of Yu Shibuya, the beautifully resonant acting of Yugo Saso, and the deeply moving music of Dana Niu, I believe that we can take this model of shooting low budget, character-driven films, using passionate undergraduate students as crew, and create something significant.
Please join us as we embark on the incredible journey of making our first feature film. We desperately need your support to accomplish the daunting task of turning this dream into a reality.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $25,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on January 1, 2012.
Nov 2, 2011 - Jan 1, 2012 (60 days)
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Pledge $10 or more
Arigato! With any film, we are grateful for every contribution, big or small. Thank you so much for donating to our film. As a token of our appreciation, we will send you a thank you note!Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $15 or more
Hashi Otemoto! We’ll send you a pair of beautiful Japanese chopsticks. Each pair will be unique, just like the hands that use them! You will also receive a thank you note!Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $25 or more
The cicadas sing! Please pledge 25 or more and receive a haiku for you! Haikus are a beautiful way to express oneself in writing. What better way to thank you, our lovely supporter? A couple members of our crew will write you a personalized haiku. Pretty cool, huh? We will also send you a thank you note and chopsticks!Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Chawan (Tea Bowl)! Be a part of an authentic Japanese Tea Ceremony! For $50, you will receive a key item for your ceremony: a beautiful Japanese teacup! You will also receive the above items.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $75 or more
Shinpi (Mystery)! While we are in Japan this summer, we will take time to personally pick out a mystery gift for you! We promise it will be something awesome! You will also receive the above items.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Jitensha! In 2009, a crew of Biola students ventured out to Japan and made the award-winning film called Jitensha. For donating $75 or more, you will receive a DVD copy of Jitensha autographed by the director! This will give you a taste of what our feature length film will look like! This also includes all previous rewards.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $150 or more
Persimmon! In 2011, Biola students set out to Japan to make yet another award-winning film called Persimmon. You can receive an autographed DVD copy of our most recent Japan film! This will come with all the items listed above!Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $200 or more
Food Basket! There are many delicious foods that can be found in Japan and we would like to share some of those yummy treats with you! Not only do you receive everything above, we will send you a gift basket straight from Japan filled with the crews’ favorite goodies! You will also receive all the previous rewards.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $300 or more
Be Behind-the-Scenes! So, if you're like us, you've probably wanted to watch everything that happens as a film is being shot. Well, now you can! We will send you a private link to our behind-the-scenes footage as well as sneak peaks of our film! You get to see everything that happens as it happens! Plus, you'll receive all the above rewards.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $500 or more
Tickets! Pledge $500 dollars and you will receive all of our other fabulous rewards plus 2 VIP tickets to the premiere of Cicada- good for you and a date! There, you will get a chance to meet the cast and crew of the film! You will also get all of the previous rewards.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
“And the special thanks goes to”… Our film is made possible by generous supporters like you and we are extremely grateful for your support! Not only will we send you all of the things above to express our gratitude, but we would also like the rest of the world to know that you had a part in making our dream become a reality. To do this, we will put you in the “Special Thanks” section on our website! You will also get everything else mentioned above.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $2,000 or more
Your name in Lights! To honor your generosity, we will include you in the “Special Thanks” section of the credits at the end of our film. We know you've always wanted to have your name on the big screen and now you can! You will also receive the above rewards.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $10,000 or more
Itadakimasu (let’s eat)…with the Associate Producers of the film- that’s you! Thank you for supporting our film! We invite you to join us for dinner at a Japanese restaurant In Little Tokyo, in Los Angeles! Over a delicious meal, you will get to hear stories of our crews’ experiences in Japan! Along with dinner, we will give you Associate Producer Credit on IMDb as well as in the rolling credits! We will also send you everything mentioned above.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012