Lydia Dunham to help direct film in Japan
Lydia Dunham, a native of Green River, has been chosen to travel to Tokyo, Japan, in July 2012 as the First Assistant Director of a feature-length film. Cicada is the first 90-minute film from Biola University's Cinema and Media Arts program, following the school's previous three internationally award-winning short films (Mujo No Kaze, Jitensha and Persimmon). Armed with Biola's RED One (the same camera used to shoot The Social Network and The Book of Eli) and a carefully chosen crew of highly motivated and talented students, director/professor Dean Yamada is planning to take his proven model of success and shoot a feature-length film.?
The film will reunite director Yamada with writer Yu Shibuya, actor Yugo Saso and composer Dana Niu of Jitensha and Persimmon, which were official selections of the world's most prestigious short film festival, the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in France.? The film will also potentially star Masayuki Yui (Akira Kurosawa's Dreams and Ran) and Ayako Fujitani (Michel Gondry's Tokyo!).
A handful of film schools across the country have begun to tackle the massive venture of shooting a feature film, and Biola University now joins them.??The RED One has leveled the playing field amongst film programs across the nation because it has allowed even the smallest programs to attain beautiful images that were only reserved for 35mm film stock less than a decade ago.
Biola's latest Japan film, Cicada, is the story of Junpei-- a man who loses sight of his future when he finds out he cannot have children, but then is given the gift of clairvoyance and begins to see glimpses of the future.? These glimpses lead him to a series of cicada shells, which are symbolic of his desire to shed his old self.? Though his lineage ends with himself, Junpei starts anew as a father-figure to his sister's young son. As with Jitensha and Persimmon, there is a depth and humor to Shibuya's writing, which gives the piece multiple layers.? The film crew's goal is to create a film that will bring hope to a country still shaken by the earthquake and tsunami of last March.
Though the students are paying their own way to Tokyo, the crew still needs to pay for equipment rentals, production design, craft services as well as location and actors' fees.? If you are interested in supporting their endeavor, you can contribute financially at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1816764310/cicada.
For more information and a short promotional video with footage from the past short films, you can also visit the above link.