Asians On Film Festival – Winter Quarter 2015 Winners!

Akiko
Actress, Akiko Shima

We are so proud to announce that our very own Akiko Shima has won the Best Supporting Actress category in the Asians on Film Festival – Winter Quarter 2015! This also means (via Festival Editor/Programmer Scott Eriksson) Akiko Shima is a nominee for her category for the Asians on Film Festival Awards in 2016!

From our website – Akiko Shima is a Japanese actress who is best known for “Letters from Iwo Jima” directed by Clint Eastwood.  She was born in Tokyo, Japan.  She has loved and studied acting since she was eight years old. After graduating from high school, Akiko began her professional career as a radio personality performing for the popular program, “The Punch, Punch, Punch” (2nd generation) of Nippon Hoso (Nippon Broadcasting.)  When she came to Los Angeles, she continued to work for Japanese Radio and TV stations including UTB as a broadcaster for over 20 years, and also worked for an English business channel program, Theater and voice-overs.  After she joined various actors’ unions, she has enjoyed working as an actress in America.  Her work in film includes “Letters from Iwo Jima”, “The 8th Samurai”, “Ghost Month”, “Usagi-san”, and “Masterless.”  She has also worked in TV commercials and numerous voice-overs.  Akiko is very grateful to have been able to work with the wonderful and talented director, cast, and crew of “American Hikikomori.”

Naoyuki
Actor, Naoyuki Ikeda

We’re also proud to announce that Naoyuki Ikeda also won an honorable mention for Best Supporting Actor!

From our website, Naoyuki Ikeda is a Japanese film actor and producer. Born and raised in Nagoya, Japan, Naoyuki graduated from Tsuru University in 1992. After spending 13 years teaching English in Japan, Naoyuki decided to move to LA to be a Hollywood film actor. He has been studying the Meisner Technique at Playhouse West since 2010. Past theatre roles include “Musical Gonza?Bokyono-Uta?”, “Shioawaseno Hakarikata”, and “Burai”. Past film credits include “Blue Dream”, “The Bitch That Cried Wolf”. Upcoming films include “Satanica”, “Hunter”, and “Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance”.

You can find the official announcements here.

Way to go Ms. Akiko and Naoyuki!

We are so excited and grateful to share our film!

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American Hikikomori: The End & The Beginning

ありがとう
ありがとございました!

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American Hikikomori: The end is nigh…

Pitch-One-Sheet

You can help at our official INDIEGOGO page

We’re one week out from closing our first crowd funding campaign so there’s still time for you to help us spread the word or contribute to our campaign.

Remember, if you can’t donate, you can still help us by telling five of your friends to tell five of their friends about us and follow us on our social media sites below.

Thanks your help and have a great holiday!

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American Hikikomori: The Crew

Check out our INDIEGOGO campaign!

We could not do this without your support.

So every television show, movie, and stage show is composed of some kind of crew. For our film, my crew consisted of some of my closest friends.

Check out our film’s behind the scenes albums. We had a great time working on this film and can’t wait to show you.

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American Hikikomori: Nadja Hoyer-Booth

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We could not do this without your support.


Nadja Hoyer-Booth, English Teacher

Hailing from Nyack, NY, Nadja came into acting in mid life, uncovering her desire through doing the exercises inThe Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  After getting her first call back at her first audition, she knew she was on the right path. Some of her favorite experiences have included working with Danny Glover in “The Shift” and with Channing Tatum & Jonah Hill for a “21 Jump Street” promo. Currently residing in Los Angeles , but with a home in Nyack, she considers herself bi-coastal & most fortunate to enjoy both the Apple & the Orange. Her most recent work can be seen in “Purge: The Anarchy” promo as an historian & on Funny or Die, “Supertaco”.

IMG_7224
On set with the talented Nadja Hoyer-Booth

For more information or questions, email us at:

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American Hikikomori: Akiko Shima

First and foremost we’d like to thank Vanessa Smith, Tony Shaff, Kyoka Shiraiwa, Jessica Everleth, “Nonbehime, ” and our anonymous donors for contributing to our INDIEGOGO campaign! We could not do this without your support.

Akiko Shima, Isamu’s Grandmother

Akiko Shima is a Japanese actress who is best known for “Letters from Iwo Jima” directed by Clint Eastwood.  She was born in Tokyo, Japan.  She has loved and studied acting since she was eight years old. After graduating from high school, Akiko began her professional career as a radio personality performing for the popular program, “The Punch, Punch, Punch” (2nd generation) of Nippon Hoso (Nippon Broadcasting.)  When she came to Los Angeles, she continued to work for Japanese Radio and TV stations including UTB as a broadcaster for over 20 years, and also worked for an English business channel program, Theater and voice-overs.  After she joined various actors’ unions, she has enjoyed working as an actress in America.  Her work in film includes “Letters from Iwo Jima”, “The 8th Samurai”, “Ghost Month”, “Usagi-san”, and “Masterless.”  She has also worked in TV commercials and numerous voice-overs.  Akiko is very grateful to have been able to work with the wonderful and talented director, cast, and crew of “American Hikikomori.”

For 日本語 click here.

For more information or questions, email us at:

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Campaign Week 5: Half Full or Empty?

We’re now at the midway point and an anonymous donor has pushed us 33% closer to our campaign goal. We could not do this without your support!

Glass
Is it half full or half empty? Or is it vodka?

Check out our INDIEGOGO campaign!

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

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Location, location, location!

Check out our INDIEGOGO campaign! We could not do this without your support.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 7.45.45 PMLocation location location…

When you shoot a film, a television show, or even a photograph, your location really does have an impact on your logistics, crew, and content. You wouldn’t make Lawrence of Arabia in Iceland or The Jungle Book in New York. You could, but it would be weird.

Lately, a lot less production actually takes place in Hollywood than it used to. Other cities, states, and even countries are giving production companies major incentives to have them come in and make a film or television show in their area.

Part of the reason Hollywood became a major hub for film and television production was because of the constant sunny weather AND because almost every type of climate imaginable is just a few hours drive away. From desert to forest to beach to mountains, California has it all. However, California still seems to lack competitive incentives for producers to stay…

But I don’t want to talk about that.

Set
There’s no film without a place to shoot it!

Outside of production, what’s amazing about traveling is how it impacts us as human beings. Well, I don’t want to speak for you but it has had a great impact on me.

I spent the first eight years of my life living the military family lifestyle. I was born over seas and we moved several times before my father decided to retire.

Because we moved around, I learned that the world is indeed a very large place and, more importantly, that I want to see and experience as much of it as I can. Sure, any one can open a book or turn on a television to get an idea of what any place is like but it will never compare to actually being there, good or bad.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 7.26.24 PMAfter graduating from high school, the first city I lived in on my own (for college) was Boston, Massachusetts. Moving from Baltimore, Maryland to Boston was… educational. I learned a lot about myself and the values I truly hold dear for how I want to live my life. That’s not because Boston is a great mecca that people should make a spiritual pilgrimage to, that’s ridiculous. Have you been to Boston? It was simply the first place I lived without the sheltering protection of my parents. It was the first time I could look at myself as an adult. Most of us spend the first eighteen years of our life in “training.” Once you’re out in the world, that training is put to the test morally, financially, and socially on a constant basis. For me, a lot of values stuck while others morphed and some were completely dropped.

 

I lived in Boston for two years before transferring south to go to film school. I would never choose to live in Boston again (my wallet couldn’t take it) but I know living there continued to shape who I am today. I’d love to return for a visit someday.

There’s no place like Boston and I can always point out a New Englander or “Mass-hole” anywhere. Some of my good friends are from this region and this city. Some might find the Boston or New England mentality off putting. Since moving to Los Angeles, I sometimes find it refreshing.

Traveling (even city to city) really does broaden the mind and strengthen the soul. Do it when you can, as often as you can. You’ll learn so much about the world and yourself.

Our film, American Hikikomori, speaks more to the pitfalls of traveling. This story is about a young man who can’t seem to cope with his new surroundings so; instead, he removes himself from it completely. He hides from everything. Researchers have concluded that Hikikomori exist partly because parents refuse to intervene in a direct or meaningful way.

To me, that sounds like bad training.

For more information or questions, email us at:

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Nova Returns!

First and foremost we’d like to thank Vanessa Smith, Tony Shaff, Kyoka Shiraiwa, and Jessica Everleth for contributing to our INDIEGOGO campaign! We could not do this without your support.

Okay Nova didn’t really go anywhere but if you’ve been following us since the beginning, you might remember she was our first casting selection. Nova is also a true testament to why animal rescue shelters are important.

“Dog” in Japanese is いぬ or 犬 both pronounced, “e-new.”

Just so you don’t embarrass yourself, the Japanese do not eat dog. You’re thinking of a different Asian country.

NLB03_DSC0597
A pic of Ms. Nova.

On a side note (historically) the Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese hate each other so to confuse one with the other is considered a great insult to a true patriot. Why is there animosity between each culture? Simple, centuries of war. The rise of modern globalization and the end of the Cold War has calmed the storm for the most part but tension still remains.

Nova Pic
Ms. Nova
Our star, Nova, and Nova's mom
Our star, Nova, and Nova’s mom

In Japanese mythology, the God of Thunder, Raijin has a dog of thunder, Raiju.

“Raijū (雷獣,”thunder animal” or “thunder beast”) is a legendary creature from Japanese mythology. Its body is composed of lightning and may be in the shape of a cat, fox, weasel, or wolf. The form of a white and blue wolf (or even a wolf wrapped in lightning) is also common. It may also fly about as a ball of lightning (in fact, the creature may be an attempt to explain the phenomenon of lightning). Its cry sounds like thunder.

Raiju is the companion of Raijin, the Shinto god of lightning. While the beast is generally calm and harmless, during thunderstorms, it becomes agitated and leaps about in trees, fields, and even buildings (trees that have been struck by lightning are said to have been scratched by Raiju’s claws).

Another of Raiju’s peculiar behaviors is sleeping in human navels. This prompts Raiden to shoot lightning arrows at Raiju to wake the creature up, and thus harms the person in whose belly the demon is resting. Superstitious people therefore often sleep on their stomachs during bad weather, but other legends say that Raiju will only hide in the navels of people who sleep outdoors.” – Wikipedia

I guess man’s kinship with canines spans numerous cultures over thousands of years and dozens of deities.

Who knew?

Check us out on our Website.

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

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Campaign Week 2: Our story…

First and foremost we’d like to thank Vanessa Smith, Tony Shaff, and Kyoka Shiraiwa for contributing to our INDIEGOGO campaign! Welcome to our team, we could not do this without your support.

In the end, this film is a work of fiction. However, this work of fiction is very much based on real people and real experiences they’ve had.

Notebook
My Director’s Notebook

I believe that in telling this story, I am telling our story.

Left to Right: Naoyuki Ikeda, Yuto Serata, Akiko Shima
Yuto Serata, our lead.
Naoyuki Ikeda ready to make his entrance…

Check us out on our Website.

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

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