Kugi Productions

Women of Fukushima is the first production produced by Kugi Productions. The founders of Kugi Productions are Paul Johannessen, Jeffrey Jousan and Ivan Kovac - three filmmakers who were all living in Japan during the disaster in 2011.

 

Back on 11.11.11, Paul wanted to go to Tohoku to film footage that would become part of a global documentary project called One Day on Earth.

Jeffrey had been delivering aid all through the region since the tsunami and had some local contacts in Ishinomaki, people he knew who had amazing stories to tell. Paul also brought in Ivan Kovac as he believed that while two is company, three is a team. The footage from the trip was so powerful that in addition to handing it over to One Day on Earth, where it has become a significant part of their forthcoming full-length documentary, Paul and Jeffrey also edited a short film, Then and Now.

 

Months past and Then and Now had a powerful affect on people in Japan and all over the world. This inspired the team to continue their efforts in capturing stories from Tohoku. Thus, Kugi Productions was born, and Women of Fukushima is the first project to be completed.

Filmmaker’s statement:


The full ramifications of the aftermath of the disaster that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 will take decades to unfold. Having shifted from the initial visceral drama to a more long-term, almost invisible threat, there is a real risk that the situations faced by residents of Fukushima Prefecture will simply vanish from the radar screens of the world’s media (or, in the case of Japanese media, remain non-existent). To this day, as a result of the meltdowns, children can’t play outside, families are breaking up, and women are even having abortions for fear of genetic damage to their unborn children. Hope is hard to come by in Fukushima.


However, after meeting a group of outspoken local women, we were compelled to capture their spirit and stories. These Japanese women, traditionally shy and quiet, have taken their anger, anxiety, frustration and loss of hope, and turned it into a rallying call to move forward to change Japan and the world into a safer place for our children. Their resilience and honesty in the face of the Japanese government’s lies and complacency compelled us to provide a platform for them to speak their minds. The results surprise, shock and inspire.

Our motivation for making this film was to ensure that the world could witness the honesty and courage of these women who have dared to speak up, while others have remained silent.

 

映像制作者の言葉: 

 

2011年3月11日に福島第一原子力発電所で起こった惨劇の余波の全貌が明らかになるには、何十年もの時間がかかるでしょう。事故直後の劇的な状態から長期的でほとんど目に見えない脅威へと移行した今、福島県民が直面する現状が世界のメディアのアンテナに捉えられなくなってしまうという(あるいは、日本のメディアの場合、存在しないままになってしまうという)本当の危機が迫っています。現在に至るまで、メルトダウンの影響で子どもたちは外で遊ぶことができず、家族は離散し、女性は胎児の遺伝子損傷を恐れて中絶までする事態が続いています。福島では、希望を見出すことが困難なのです。

 

しかし、積極的に発言する地元女性グループとの会合後、我々は彼女たちの精神と背景を記録しなければと強く感じました。文化的には内気で物静かなこの日本人女性たちは怒りと不安、不満、そして希望に対する喪失感を力に変え、日本を、そして世界を、子どもたちのためにより安全な場所にするべく立ち上がろうと呼びかける声を上げたのです。日本政府の嘘と無関心に対する彼女たちの回復力と率直さを目の当たりにして、我々は彼女たちが自分の意見を発表できるプラットフォームを提供しようと決断しました。そしてその結果は我々に驚きと衝撃、そして刺激を与えるものです。

 

今回の映像を制作した目的は、誰もが沈黙を守る中で遭えて声を上げた女性たちの誠実さと勇気を世界中の人々が目撃できるようにすることです。

 

Paul Johannessen, Director:

 

Born in Sydney, Australia, Paul has worked in TV/Film production since 1999. After moving with his wife to Japan where she had been awarded a scholarship at a fine arts university, Paul started working freelance as a cameraman and editor for various production companies in Tokyo. On top of producing videos for corporations and foreign production companies, Paul also has numerous more artistic pursuits, writing music and creating art videos together with his wife, as well as documentaries.

Jeffrey Jousan, Co-Director:

 

Born in Tenafly, New Jersey, Jeffrey Jousan is a audiophile recordist/engineer, producer, location coordinator and interviewer. Passionate about high quality sound, on location, on set or in the studio, he knows the power of sound adds emotion and life to video. In addition to great sound and stunning images, the subjects of interviews must feel comfortable and trust their interviewer. Jeffrey, quickly puts his interviewees at ease, with jokes, a story or shared experience, a soft tone of voice and focused, compassionate attention which brings a natural frankness and intimacy to the Interviews.

Ivan Kovac, Director of Photography:

 

Ivan Kovac is a Film, Television, Commercial, Music Video and Web Media Cameraman/DP with broad experience. Trained in Film Production and a graduate of the Sydney Film School, Ivan specializes in RED digital camera technology and digital image capturing on a wider scale. Ivan has shot numerous projects since arriving in Japan. Some of his past work includes Xu Jing Lei promoting Glamour Sales (in Beijing), Chanel, Red Bull, Reebok, Sanofi Aventis, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel ("Atlas Next Japan", featuring renowned designer of the Enzo Ferrari, Ken Okuyama).