NFMLA Panel: Takeshi Fukunaga's AINU MOSIR (an ARRAY Releasing title)
Join NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) and ARRAY Releasing for a conversation with Takeshi Fukunaga. We will discuss Takeshi’s career, his newest film ‘AINU MOSIR‘ which won a Special Jury Mention in the International Narrative Competition at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and the film’s distribution partnership with ARRAY Releasing. This discussion will be Moderated by NFMLA Board Member, Filmmaker and TV Director Varda Bar-Kar.
- About Takeshi Fukunaga:
Takeshi Fukunaga is from Hokkaido, Japan and learned filmmaking in NY. After living in US for 16 years, he moved his base to Tokyo in 2019. His first feature film, Out of My Hand, premiered in the Panorama section at Berlinale in 2015, won U.S. Fiction Award, the top prize at LA Film Festival and Emerging Filmmaker Award at San Diego Asian American Film Festival. The film was later released through Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY in US, and nominated for John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award in 2016, followed by a successful release in Japan in 2017. Takeshi’s second feature film, Ainu Mosir was selected for Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation Residence and Sam Spiegel International Film Lab and made as a US/Japan/China co-production in 2020. The film won Special Jury Mention in International Narrative Competition at Tribeca Film Festival and Best Film at Guanajuato Film Festival. Takeshi is currently developing his third feature project, which is selected for a screenwriting residency in Berlin, Nipkow Program.
- About AINU MOSIR:
AINU MOSIR is the award-winning feature film directed and written by Takeshi Fukunaga (OUT OF MY HAND). Recognized with a special jury mention at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, AINU MOSIR is Fukunaga’s second feature film. His first film, OUT OF MY HAND, was also distributed through ARRAY Releasing in 2015.
Set in northern Japan’s Hokkaido community, 14-year-old indigenous Ainu teen Kanto (Kanto Shimokura) searches for a spiritual connection with his recently deceased father with the help of a family friend. Torn between maintaining the tradition of his ancestors and lured by the mysteries of adulthood, Kanto is on a journey to find his sense of self.
- About ARRAY:
Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a multi-platform arts and social impact collective dedicated to narrative change. The organization catalyzes its work through a quartet of mission-driven entities: the film distribution arm ARRAY Releasing, the content company ARRAY Filmworks, the programming and production hub ARRAY Creative Campus and the non-profit group ARRAY Alliance. www.arraynow.com
- About NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA):
NFMLA champions emerging and diverse filmmakers and storytellers from around the world and provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized for their contributions, have open audience discussions about their work and connect with industry professionals for insight on distribution, production and representation. In an effort to showcase, support, educate and build relationships for next-gen filmmakers, NFMLA has rapidly expanded beyond the NFMLA Monthly Film Festival to host an array of workshops, panels, competitions and networking programs, including the InFocus initiative which combats the lack of diversity in media by celebrating underrepresented voices.
- Moderator (Varda Bar-Kar):
Award-winning director Varda Bar-Kar has directed over forty productions, including documentaries, episodic television, web series, short films, branded content, and viral videos. Varda was born in London, England, and had lived on three different continents by the time she was ten years old. Her international upbringing provides her with a truly global perspective. She is an activist filmmaker focusing her lens on meaningful stories exploring the breadth and diversity of the human condition. She faces society’s challenges with an uplifting approach that speaks into possibility.
Varda developed her directing voice creating short films, including the festival-winning Window starring Louis Gossett, Jr. Window garnered the Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival, screened at Cannes and aired across the United States on local affiliate stations including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, in honor of Black History Month.
Shoot Magazine selected Varda for their prestigious New Director Showcase; Lincoln Mercury’s Rising Stars Campaign awarded her music video Race to the Sky the Grand Prize and aired it during the Grammy Awards. Varda was also selected to participate in Ryan Murphy’s HALF Director Mentorship Program, and then directed for the hit FOX show 9-1-1.
Varda has just completed the two-year production of Fandango at the Wall an exuberant music documentary celebrating the lives and music of the masters a mystical three-hundred-year-old Mexican folk music tradition called son jarocho. The film follows the son jarocho masters to the United States-Mexico border where they join renowned New York Maestro Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for a transformational music festival taking place on both sides of the border. Quincy Jones, Andrew Young, Carlos Santana, and Kabir Sehgal serve as the film’s Executive Producers. It was funded in part by the Ford Foundation & Miranda Foundation. Sony music serves as the project’s sales agent and the film was released by HBO, HBO Max and HBO Latin America.
Varda’s feature documentary Big Voice received the “Best Documentary Award” from the Heartland Film Festival, NewFilmmakers LA and The South Dakota Film Festival. Big Voice chronicles a challenging year in the life of a determined high school choir director and his most advanced ensemble. The documentary was picked up by Netflix, Hulu, & Amazon, and was broadcast on PBS winning a Bronze Telly Award.
Varda’s viral videos have amassed tens of millions of views for non-profits including The Humane Farming Association, Feeding America, MZA Events, The Chopra Center, and Unify among others. YouTube honored Varda’s viral video What Kind of Planet Are We On with their Most Innovative Non-profit Video Award and featured it on their homepage. What Kind of Planet Are We On was screened for the United States Congress as part of a campaign for Social Security equality for same-sex couples.
Varda is on the board of NFMLA and a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the International Documentary Association & Film Fatales.
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