Third Window Films Newsletter

Third Window Films gets into production with 'Land of Hope'

Third Window Films have made their first step into the world of film production by co-producing the newest film from director Sion Sono ('Love Exposure', 'Cold Fish') entitled 'Land of Hope'. The film started shooting on January 13th, 2012, with the aim to premier at the Cannes Film Festival with the Japanese theatrical release planned at the end of Summer.

The main producers are Bitters End and Dongyu. Bitters End will handle domestic distribution with Dongyu and Pictures Dept (who are also co-producing) handling International sales. German distributor Rapid Eye Movies will also be co-producing along with Taiwan's Joint Entertainment.

INTRODUCTION
In a typical Japanese village, an old couple, their son and his wife are living peacefully. However, they have to disperse due to a large earthquake. It is a touching, but beautiful
story. Accomplished veteran actors, Isao Natsuyagi and Naoko Otani star as the old couple, who are attached to their lifetime family home and so are distraught. Jun
Murakami and Megumi Kagurazaka star as the young couple. Megumi Kagurazaka, who has been Sonoʼ’s latest muse, recently married with the director.

On March 11th, 2011, devastating damage far beyond anything imaginable occurred, causing people to think anew about life. It is very timely that this film is produced for a
wide audience to see.

STORY
In a typical Japanese village, Yoichi Ono lives with his wife, Izumi, and his parents, Yasuhiko and Chieko. The Ono family are dairy farmers who live frugally, but happily in
the peaceful countryside. One day, an unbelievably huge earthquake occurs. They are forced to seek refuge away from home. However, Yoichi is attached to their lifetime
family home, so he is hesitant to leave. Due to his wifeʼ’s pregnancy, Yoichi must take action to protect his wife Izumi, as well as their unborn child. That action is supposed to
lead them to the land of hope, however...

STATEMENT FROM THE DIRECTOR
“THE LAND OF HOPE”
On March 11, 2011――
The Great East Japan Earthquake led to explosions at Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant, releasing a massive quantity of radioactive materials. This disaster destroyed lives
of many people ‒ lives that they used to know until that day. Faced with this unprecedented crisis, I am greatly alarmed that only the scale of the
nuclear accident and not much else is talked about in Japan. I fear that we will simply become desensitized to the idea of radiation in time and “co-exist” with it, willy-nilly,
conveniently “forgetting” about it in our daily life. The government may well declare that the nuclear crisis, the focus of our attention since last March, has been resolved.
I make this movie because I want people to “relive” “that time” again, to go back into March last year. By reliving that day again, we will be able to appreciate the horrifying
reality that we are forced into ‒ the reality of having to live with radiation. Thatʼ’s what we must talk about now.

These thoughts are behind my determination to make this movie.

Far from declining, nuclear power is actually on the rise globally as “clean energy.” Fear of nuclear power is pervasive, yet we continue to depend on nuclear energy. Do we really
have no other choice?

Japan is the only country in the world that has experienced the horror of nuclear firsthand in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and now weʼ’ve had a nuclear accident even worse than
Chernobyl. It is only our responsibility to warn the world by reporting our experiences. This movie is my answer to that; it is a sci-fi movie about a nuclear plant accident that
occurs in mid-January, 2013 ‒ a few years after the Fukushima disaster. It depicts what is happening in “Fukushima”, and in Japan right now, through the story of one family.
The nuclear accident severely tests the familyʼ’s strong bond. The son has no choice but to leave the land of his family, while the father refuses to leave, choosing to live by it. The
family becomes torn apart by the nuclear disaster. Torn apart, and yet, they need each other. They learn just what they mean to each other. This is family drama that is actually
happening now in every household in “Fukushima”, which I encountered in my research for this movie. But I chose to make this realistic documentary drama a sci-fi movie,
setting it in the near future, because only drama, not a documentary, can convey what I wanted to tell the audience in this movie.

By setting the movie in the near future, paradoxically, the audience will learn what actually happened then, with all of its raw urgency. By witnessing the mistake we may make yet again some years down the line, we may be able to change the course of our future even a little, choosing not to repeat our foolish mistake. That is my sincere wish in making this
movie.

SION SONO
January 6, 2012