Friday, May 11, 2012

Shinsedai Cinema Festival Supports Niji-Iro Cinema Support Project!

We apologize for the lack of updates on the blog recently, but Niji-Iro Cinema has certainly been active in 2012 with screenings in Minamisoma (Fukushima prefecture), Aizumisato-machi (Fukushima prefecture), Ishinomaki (Miyagi prefecture) and this weekend in Otsuchi-cho (Iwate prefecture). We have many pictures and recollections that we want to share on this blog when time allows.

A special thanks to the ongoing support from the Shinsedai Cinema Festival (July 12-15), based in Toronto Canada. Shinsedai and its tireless director Chris MaGee have raised money for the Niji-Iro Cinema Support Project previously and will do so again with proceeds from an upcoming screening at this year's edition (details here).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Santa Claus Joins the Niji-iro Cinema Screenings!!

We worried about the weather on Christmas Eve, but fortunately Sun rised in a beautiful morning of December 24th. We hired 5 food stands with kind donation from Niji-iro (Rainbow) Cinema supporters, so we were very relived this clear sky even though it was freezing cold.


While we started screening the Hollywood cinema, people started lining up for hot meals. The purpose of setting up this support project is to hire the local people suffering from less opportunities of jobs, and also providing hot and festival meals to local people.  Since the local stores have been on business, we charged 200 yen (less than a half usual price) not to interfer local shops business fully.  This is the compromised plan based on local people's advise.


Then, Santa Claus appeared to welcome all guests!

Kids were very excited about meeting Santa Claus and were getting close to him to say hi!
Of course, this Santa Claus spoke only in English, so I served as an interpreter. ワs位tすっぽ

"Ho ho ho!  Have you been a good boy/ good girl?"




Once again, we would like to show sincere thankful feelings to everyone helping us and donating to make this happen! Without your help, we could not meet so many smiling faces.


Little kids are helping their mother and father to make and sell crapes.


Thanks message from the children working at the food stands for everyone who kindly joined the donation at the Birthday party for Go and Iso.


Thank you so much for your kind support "Nippon Connection". Marion, I really appreciate your iniciative to join this support!  He is a Takoyaki (Octpus Ball) maker. His Takoyaki is so delicious.

Thank you so much for your continuing support, TOKYO FILMeX!

While kids are playing with Santa Claus, the film screenings were going on and many people enjoyed it! And some of children helped our staff to make and distribute popcorn!


At the second venue "Ohashi community Hall" where is located in the center of temporary housing premisie. Over 500 families has lived there.  These community hall is built in the temporary housing premisis to gather people and get know each other. Many volunteer groups and organizations have been organized many events, so people live there to meet people.  At the temparary housings,  many people have lived there without knowing who are their neighbors.  Providing occasions to meet and talk each other are very important, so even people living by themselves can know they are not alone!


At the second venue, we organized one screening. And through Yu home clinic help, the company based in Osaka organized the workshop how to make the chest with cardbord box, with olunteery help with Niji-iro members and some students from the Rikkyo university in Tokyo. So many people joined to enjoyed creating it.


Everyone can draw or put cute seals to make it very special one to each owner!

While I was walking from the first venue to the second venue, I bumped into the lady I met last time I visited Ishinomaki for the screenings.  I was so happy she remembered me!
She was carrying many stuff provided the support products from the other volunteer group, I was helping to carry them to her house.  She asked me to come and join the coffee, and also wanted me to see the chest she created one day before.  The coffee she made me was so delicious!


Last time, she told me that she lost mother and aunt by Tsunami and became alone.  He mother loved movies so much and they went to see films together often.  But now... she doesn't feel like going to the theater by herself since the area where the theater has not changed much, so it is very difficult to accept the reality she has been facing. So she thanks us so much for coming to show the films where she can watch with many people together. Popcorn with caramel flavor was her mother's favorite, so she offered it to her BUtsudan.


様々なドラマがあります。 本当に苦しくなるドラマ。

Once thing I can say is, the temporary housing is really cold... even though the AC is installed, but survivors have to pay the bill by themselves, so it is not so easy to use... How lone do they have to live there?


At the second venue, Santa Claus showed up for children!

When Santa Claus and I went back to the first venue, our friend Yamada-san visited us from Onagawa with his families.


When kids are leaving, Santa Claus distributed the Christmas gift to everyone!

We prepared about 200 gift bags and almost all have been distributed.

Kid's smile made us feel hope and encouraged us to keep going on!
Thank you so much for your support on or activities. In Jan, we will visit Minami Soma in Fukushima on 21 and 22. People in Fukushima have been facing very critical and difficult situation since 3.11. I am very happy to go back there since June. I will report how the screening goes there, and also the situation and people there in the next entry.

Once again, Thank you for your kind support and love to Niji-iro (Rainbow) Cinema and Nijiiro Cinema Support Project Fund.




Tuesday, December 27, 2011

1st day of Christmas Movie Screenings in Ishinomaki: December 23rd

On the night of December 22nd, the Niji-Iro Cinema team members headed to Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture for our Christmas movie screenings, carrying lots of gifts in four separate vehicles.
When we reached to "Sugo" service area in Fukushima, it started snowing and we really felt the cold winter wind.


Snow-covered topiary spelling out "Sugo" in Japanese.

We arrived in Ishinomaki early on the morning of the 23rd and took a rest and slept for a little while in our cars. Then we arrived at the "You Home Clinic Community Center" venue and started putting up cheeful and beautiful christmas decorations. You Home Clinic kindly co-ordinated everything for the two days.

早朝に到着し、しばらく仮眠をとり、早速会場の「祐ホームクリニック コミュニティーホール」で準備を開始しました。会場も、協力者の祐ホームクリニックさんがご用意くださったツリーやデコレーションでクリスマスの雰囲気を盛り上げていきます。

Before we opened the doors at 9:30, many children started lining up outside
The film selection on the first day was Fantastic 4, Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! The Movie: Victini and the White Hero: Reshiram and others.

上映作品は「ファンタスティック4」「劇場版ポケットモンスターベストウィッシュ ビクティニと白き英雄レシラム

Kids love Pokemon! Their laughter and smiles made all the Niji-Iro cinema members so happy! What a great Christmas gift we received!


At the other community hall, which is located in the center of the Ohashi Temporary Housing Area where about 500 families live, we screened Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Battle of the Warring States. It was quite popular among seniors and children, and we noticed lots of pairs of Grandparents with their grandchildren.

「クレヨンしんちゃん 嵐を呼ぶアッパレ戦国大合戦」の上映を行いました。


In the offices of You Home Clinic, our staff were busy with stuffing gift bags for the following day.  The gifts were made possible with all the support and donations from friendly companies and individuals associated with Niji-Iro Cinema. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone.


At the end of the day, a few members visited the nearby town of Onagawa, where we hold a screening in October, to see the lighting ceremony of the beautiful tree called "Stardust Pageant". Before the tsunami disaster hit Onagawa, there was a beautiful Stardust Pageant on the main shopping street on a large scale. Although the street was washed away and people almost gave up holding it this year, some people, including our friend Mr. Yamada (pictured below), owner of Onagawa's main fish market, pushed themselves very hard to create a beautiful Christmas tree.


The tree is adorned with 100,010 lights -- the same number as Onagawa's population before the Tsunami. The tree carries the strong message that everyone is together, now and forever.



Then...the sun rose on the 24th. Our special Christmas screenings were here! (Please see our next blog entry, going up very soon).



Saturday, November 12, 2011

From Nov 4th to 6th, Niji-iro Cinema had a small tour in Otsuchi-cho, Iwate prefecture and Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture to hold free movie screenings.

On the first day, we visited two kindergartens in Otsuchi-cho, Iwate.  Otsuchi-cho was hit badly by the tsunami and fire, which started after the tsunami, devastated the town awfully.  From the top of hill, all I could see was flat ground spreading everywhere....everything was taken away.  It was unbelievably painful to see and imagine the awful days people have been though.

It was the first time we had a screening at a kindergarten, with 55 children. I was not really sure how they would react to the film... We wondered if they could keep watching it for a half hour?  Would they get bored? What if they didn't like it....?  Many questions were going through my mind.

We chose the title called "Panda ko Panda", which is the Japanese classic animation directed by the golden team of Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki before Studio Ghibli established. (I love this film!!)

Once the film started, all the kids immediately started laughing a lot and the laughter became bigger and bigger. It blew my worries away immediately and made all Nijiiro members so happy.  Kids' pure smiles and laughter are a real treasure, and we always feel "hope" for the future.

After the screening, children sang a "Thanks Song" for us.  It was so beautiful and touching!!

We spoke to the principal of kindergarten, and all we could clearly tell was she is really exhausted and weak after having lost her husband by Tsunami...but she has tried to push herself to be so strong, and has tried moving forward to protect all children attending her school.  Definitely children need sincere attention and love, but we have to remember that all adults trying to protect these children need care too.  They are the ones who have tried not to cry, and smile fully to make children feel comfort and loved.  All teachers are amazing and I am so proud of Japanese woman, their strength and beauty.

Even kids were smiling and playing energetically, but this is the view they can see from the balcony everyday....I don't know what to say...
I do hope they will grow up strongly with a big and sweet heart, and always keep a dream in their mind.

For people kindly supported "Nijiiro Cinema Support Project Campaign" on indiegogo, once again, thank you so much for your kindest consideration and love for people in Tohoku.

When leaving from the first school, children were waving us to say good bye!
I do love to go back to see them very soon.

In the afternoon, we visited the other kindergarden with 80 kids.

Here again, "Panda ko Panda" was very popular and kid's laughter were spread in the hall to make us smile!

We could bring drawing paper booklets, colorful pens which my husband and my friend Jean sent to children to Tohoku!  They really loved it. Thank you Jean!


And Thank you so much to Go-san and his friends gathered "Champaign and Sandwich Party"and donated for this project. 豪さんをはじめ、シャンドイッチの会で基金にご協力くださいました皆様、ありがとうございました。

They are really great teachers working there.  They are e so sweet, charming, strong and loving!

Thank you so much for supporting and loving children.  

Once again, thank you so much for everyone who supported us to keep our Niji-iro Cinema Support Project going.  With your help, we could see so many happy faces and smiles.

Now we are planning to have a campaign again for X'mas.  We will be again in Tohoku on Nov.19&20 and Dec 23&24. Those dates are fixed.

Thank you for your continuing support.

P.S: I will report the activities in Kesennuma tomorrow. We hired local food stands with your help.