The Great East Japan Earthquake
March 11, 2013 marks the two-year anniversary of Japan's largest, most destructive earthquake and tsunami. In 2011, while the rest of the world watched, much of the northern coast was washed away by the massive tsunami, triggered by a 9.0 earthquake.The tragedy was devastating to Tohoku, Japan, and the entire world. People lost loved ones, their homes, and even their way of life. Now, nearly two years later, while the world’s attention may have moved on, the people of Japan are still struggling to pull their communities back together.
In the months after the disaster, countless volunteers rallied from around the world and came to Japan’s aid to help begin the long process of rebuilding. Whether by donating money, organizing events, or coming to volunteer, these individuals showed they truly care about Japan and about the people of Tohoku.
This is their story.
We will travel across the United States and Japan to interview individuals who have made and continue to make a difference in Tohoku. There are so many people who dropped what they were doing and dedicated themselves to Japan's recovery. Many of these people even took it upon themselves to establish non-profit organizations aimed at connecting with and rebuilding Tohoku and its communities. SaveMiyagi.org raised funds that directly went to the Board of Education in Minamisanriku, and its founder volunteered in Ishinomaki City. Smile Kids Japan, which supports Japanese orphans, focused their attention on Tohoku following the disaster. Volunteer Akita had multiple operations ranging from cleaning up debris to delivering fresh fruit to those affected.
At the core of all of these organizations are individuals. All of these groups were founded by members of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET Program). What started as a love of Japan through teaching blossomed into a true friendship and commitment to the Tohoku region. These founders and many other volunteers have truly become friends of Tohoku. They are, in Japanese, Tohoku Tomo.
- Wesley Julian - Producer/Director (http://wesleysensei.wordpress.com/)
- Philip Holbrook - Director of Photography (http://www.holbrookdp.com/)
- Brent Penman - Post-production (http://www.linkedin.com/in/brentpenman)
- Tim Schraeder - Media Expert (http://www.timschraeder.com/)
Supporting this documentary means helping bring the story of Tohoku Tomo to light and sharing it with the world. Your support will assist with travel needs, production costs, and distribution of the film. Our team will travel to San Francisco, California and Tohoku, Japan from March 17-31, 2013 to conduct interviews and capture footage of the recovery. Philip Holbrook has been hired as the Director of Photography, and will also be renting additional equipment as needed. Brent Penman has been hired to handle post-production and editing.
Photo credits: Canon Purdy
video credits: Jason Widney
Risks and challenges
Having lived in Miyagi, Japan for two years as an English teacher, Wesley is comfortable and experienced with traveling in Japan. Linguistic and cultural challenges will be overcome though his knowledge of Japan and his strong connections in Tohoku. The support network of friends, former colleagues, and current JET participants will assure the team's success in capturing the story of Tohoku Tomo.
In terms of production, Philip Holbrook and Brent Penman bring professional experience and know-how to making a documentary. Their artisic vision and skills will help overcome the challenge of capturing this incredible story on film.
The biggest challenge, however, is the funding. The Tohoku Tomo team believes in this project so much that they have already personally invested in getting this project started. With your support, we can work together and meet our goal to bring this film to life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)