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Saving Ninomiya: A Photographic Life in Little Tokyo (Canceled) project video thumbnail
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Missing avatar By Michael Risner (deleted)
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About this project

After his death in 2009, the entire archived works of Ichiro Ninomiya was in danger of simply being thrown away.

Fortunately, most of it found its way to me. I am seeking funding to create a documentary about Ichiro Ninomiya and his life in Little Tokyo.

As a teenager, Mr. Ninomiya was sent to the internment camps along with his family. Despite that harsh experience, he returned after the war to Los Angeles and established himself as a photographer working in the community.

He photographed weddings, funerals, portraits of families, children, men and women. He photographed events like the Nisei Week celebrations every year. He shot commercial shots for local businesses. He photographed passport photos, graduation photos and copied much older photos and documents for his clientele.

Despite his experiences, despite the segregation and racism, despite the realities of the times, Mr Ninomiya's business grew and thrived and he became an establishment on 1st St. in Little Tokyo.

His story is also the story of the Japanese American community, not only in Los Angeles, but all up and down the west coast of the United States.

I am the keeper of 15,000 family memories created by Mr. Ninomiya and I want everyone to enjoy his art and work as I do.

Through the use of these photographs, archival materials from the community, and interviews with family and former clients of Mr. Ninomiya, I will take the viewer into his world and let them see and hear first hand accounts of life in post-WWII.

The money will be used for the necessary equipment and logistics to create the documentary.

I will need archival materials to save and catalog the tens of thousands of images I have. I will need equipment such as scanners, computers and storage devices.

I will have to rent filmmaking gear; camera, sound, grip and electric gear. I need key personnel such as a Director of Photography, a makeup artist and help with the cataloging and sorting of the images.

If funded, this project will take approximately 6-8 months to complete.

You can visit my site at www.savingninomiya.com for more information, photos and discoveries from the archives.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Every Donor will have their name listed in the credits of the finished film. Every donor will also have a digital download available of the finished film as well.

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    In addition to the lower tier rewards, donors at this level will also receive a DVD copy of the finished film.

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    In addition to the lower tier rewards, donors at this level will also receive a copy of the (proposed) companion book for the documentary. (Availability contingent on publication)

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    In addition to the lower tier rewards, donors at this level will be in a separate credit at the end of the film under "Special Thanks."

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    In addition to the lower tier rewards, donors at this level will be credited as "Associate Producer" at the top of the film.

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Funding period

- (30 days)