Third Window Films Newsletter

Third Window Films raises £1500 for charity in only 5 days!

A year on since the Earthquake and Tsunami that destroyed so much of Japan there are still so many whose lives are far from normal, especially in Fukushima who were hit by not just the earthquake and tsunami, but also by the explosion at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

The situation now in Fukushima is still very worrying as many don't know the full extent of the nuclear fallout and the people of Fukushima are feeling isolated due to this continuing confusion. We believe very strongly in the theory that a healthy mind can help keep a body strong, so we want to do our best to keep up the spirits of those in Fukushima. With this we chose to, on the anniversary of the tsunami, hold a charity film screening of the film 'Mitsuko Delivers' at the ICA with all our sales going to charity. We sold out the auditorium of 187 seats and also managed to sell many dvds at the event as well as in the days after the event, and in total through ticket sales plus DVD and poster sales, we managed to raise £1,500 in just 5 days!

The charity we are giving the money to is called the 'Fukushima Film Festival for Children's Future' and is a non-profit organisation setup by various volunteers in the Fukushima with the goal of bringing people in community together during these hard times and organising events to keep people's spirits up and strong.

Here is some information about them:

About Fukushima Film Festival for Children’s Future

Fukushima Film Festival for Children’s Future was launched in 2009 as a series of events for us to think about the future of children and share the vision of “tomorrow” through cinema. On 11th March 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, coupled with the accidents at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused serious damage to the Fukushima prefecture. Now, one year later, other stricken prefectures such as Iwate and Miyagi have accelerated to recovery, but the people of Fukushima are still in trouble due to the radioactive contamination. We feel that now is the time to gather our strength and show our “determination” to recover our hometown. We strongly believe that bringing people together and discovering happiness in simple, everyday life will be steps, even though only small, to make our community progress, and that is the responsibility we owe to the future.
-- Masami Kuga, chairman of the executive committee

Organisers
The festival is organised by an executive committee which includes about 20 volunteers with various backgrounds such as University professors, staff of prefectural office, TV newscasters, etc. As a consequence of the Earthquake in 2011, the Fukushima prefecture stopped its financial support of the festival in order to focus on the physical recovery from the disaster and the festival has only been able to continue through sponsorship and donations by private companies. Also, in reaction to the earthquake, the festival has started some restoration projects in addition to the main festival and related workshops.

Films for People in Evacuation Centres
There are so many people still living in temporary houses in various locations in the Fuksuhima prefecture. These evacuation centres are designed to be settlements with certain numbers of houses, and in each settlement there is a community space in which there are some attractions such as small workshops and film screenings occasionally organized by the community. However, in smaller settlements which have less than 50 houses, people don’t have as much of a chance for such activities. Moreover, it is very difficult for people who temporarily live in snowy areas such as Aizu Wakamatsu City to even go out during its severe winter. Since December 2011, in response to these situations, the Fukushima Film Festival for Children's Future has started a temporary film show project which tours around the various refugee residences screening children-friendly films.

Remember 'good old Fukushima'
Last year, Fukushima prefecture collected 8mm films from various families for the purpose of a visual archive and preservation of the images and a short film made by editing those home-made videos was screened at the symposium to show good old days of Fukushima.
The next festival is planned to be in Autumn in 2012.

For more information about the festival please visit http://www.mirai-cinema.jp (site in Japanese) or email: info@mirai-cinema.jp