The Orange Story is a scripted narrative film (as opposed to a documentary) that tells the story of Koji Oshima, the proud owner of a small grocery store in the Pacific Northwest. In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Koji and his fellow Japanese Americans are now viewed as the enemy. More than 110,000 men, women, and children of Japanese descent must leave behind everything they know and travel to one of many incarceration camps, in one of the biggest civil rights violations in American history. As Koji gets his affairs in order before his journey, some long-time neighbors offer their support, but others alienate him from his own community.
We want to increase awareness of the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. In addition to creating this film, we are building an educational website around The Orange Story that will be an invaluable teaching tool available for free to educators and students across the country. The film will be woven seamlessly into this interactive website, allowing the viewer to navigate between the movie and complementary audio-visual materials. An equally important part of the project is our outreach program, which will include panel discussions, presentations, screenings, museum exhibits, and our website.
The Orange Story will help the public to better understand the lived experiences behind this historical tragedy, which has become relevant again in today’s heated political debates about terrorism, national security, and the rights and dignity of all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or cultural heritage.
This film is one of twenty projects awarded a Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant from the National Park Service in 2015. Our $160,000 award is a matching grant -- in order to access the funds, we are required to provide a "cost match" at a ratio of 2:1. The grant provides $2 for every $1 we contribute to the project. In effect, the grant multiplies your donation by 200%!
We're roughly 60% of the way towards meeting our cost match obligation for the JACS Grant. These matching funds have come from private cash donations, in-kind donations, and a recent grant from Illinois Humanities. With your help, we can fulfill our cost match obligation and take full advantage of this tremendous opportunity!
The funds raised from this campaign will allow us to pay for crucial production and post-production expenses:
Full Spectrum Features NFP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contribution to The Orange Story is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. Please consult your accountant and IRS guidelines.
WHY DOES THIS FILM COST SO MUCH?
The Orange Story is a period piece. Historical accuracy is crucial in telling this story. This means hiring historical consultants to help us design the atmosphere, building a set that looks appropriate for the 1940s, and filming in real locations which have been preserved over time.
This project is also much more than just a short film. It includes an educational website containing a wealth of supplementary educational materials, curated and vetted by our esteemed advisory board.
Our lead educational consultant is Professor Jasmine Alinder (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), a specialist in this period of US history. Along with our director Erika Street, Jasmine will oversee the creation and development of the website for The Orange Story, which is being designed by New York-based web developer Iron Design.
Erika Street (Director/Co-writer) is a producer and director of documentaries, short films, radio programs, and educational videos. Erika’s directorial debut, The Closure Myth, was broadcast nationally on LinkTV and internationally on Al Jazeera English. Her short fiction film Inside took the Honorable Mention prize at the Speechless Film Festival and was nominated for a Maverick Movie Award for Best Picture. As an associate producer and editor at the Emmy award-winning studio, Log In Productions, Erika contributed to several documentaries that address issues surrounding incarceration and historical memory. She holds an MFA in film production from Boston University.
Jason Matsumoto (Executive Producer) is a fourth-generation Japanese American from Chicago. Both sides of his family came to the city after resettling from WWII incarceration sites. Jason is the director of Chicago's Ho Etsu Taiko Ensemble. He has also directed and produced two short documentary films commissioned by the Japanese American Citizens League.
Rick and Joyce Morimoto (Executive Producers)
Eugene Sun Park (Producer/Co-writer) is the founder and director of Full Spectrum Features, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to diversity in film and media. Current projects include Chicagoland Shorts, an annual touring program and anthology of short films that showcases the work of women, LGBTQ, and minority filmmakers; Signature Move, a feature film produced with Newcity's Chicago Film Project and supported by the All Access program at the Tribeca Film Institute; and The Orange Story, a cinematic digital history project funded in part by the National Park Service and Illinois Humanities.
Beecher Cotton (Cinematographer) is a Boston-based director of photography, his main focus is narrative film but he also shoots commercials and music videos. He is a well rounded filmmaker who spends sometime as an editor, grip, and gaffer. He is able to achieve a high quality look even with limitations. His work as grip on the "big shows" has given him the opportunity to work with some high profile professionals and gear, he applies this knowledge and is able to downsize it to fit within the limitations of the project he is working on.
Martin Bernstein (Editor) is a cinema editor and motion content producer with over 30 years of editing TV commercials, documentary, independent feature film and web-based short subjects. He is an Adjunct Professor in the digital cinema programs at DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago.
Jenelle Davis (Outreach Coordinator) is a PhD student in Modern and Contemporary Art History at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation focuses on international traumatic events, transnational memory and examines the social, political and visual tensions that become apparent in positioning government or corporate-funded memorials against personal or community-based commemorations. She has several years experience as a professor, curator, writer, researcher, and project manager and she holds both a BA from McGill University and an MA from the University of Toronto in Art History.
Joe Takehara as "Koji"
Dr. Joe Takehara, D.D.S., a second-generation Japanese American, has trained with the legends of aikido during his fifty-three years of studying the Japanese martial art. Meanwhile, he was a married father of three and built a successful dental practice from which he retired at the age of eighty. This is his first foray into the world of acting.
Jules Reid as "Joan"
Jules is incredibly excited to be part of The Orange Story! Jules is an actress, improviser, and writer who grew up in Iowa. Since moving to Chicago, she has studied at Acting Studio Chicago, Second City, and will soon be taking her first class at the Green Room. She can soon be seen playing Ruby in an episode of supernatural anthology series Cerebral, and some of her other favorite credits include Detective Murray in indie pilot Kings and a secret agent in the comedic short film The Briefcase.
Kylie Sullivan as "Judith"
Kylie Sullivan has been acting since the age of four years. She has been involved in more than 40 projects, including theater, film, television and commercials. In addition to acting, Kylie has been competing in all genres of dance since the age of 4 as well. She heads up her school newspaper, is on her school’s student council and has her own YouTube channel chock-full of DIY projects that she teaches to others. She has packed quite a bit into her young nine year old life!
Of course money isn't the only way that you can contribute! Other ways to help:
- Share our Kickstarter link with friends and family
- Like/Share us on Facebook
- Follow us on Twitter
- Help arrange a screening of The Orange Story at your school, community group, film club, church, etc.
- Provide a formal letter of support for our project from your school, community group, etc.
- Help facilitate offline donations -- some of our supporters are not online, but we can process their contributions via check and post to the campaign on their behalf.
Please email us as outreach@fullspectrumfeatures with any questions.
Thank you for your interest in The Orange Story! We hope you’ll continue to support us as we promote awareness of this important episode in American history.
Risks and challenges
We filmed The Orange Story April 27 - May 1, and are excited to see our project finally come to life! Finishing the project with the highest degree of professionalism requires us to have a successful Kickstarter campaign. Even with a successful fundraising campaign, there is no guarantee that this film will reach a wide audience. If we reach our initial $16,000 goal before the deadline, we'll be incorporating additional "stretch goals" into our campaign. These additional funds will go towards our educational program and outreach initiatives.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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