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Nicole Midori Woodford, Jeremy Chua

Singapore, Japan

TFL Awards

TFL Co-Production Award 2018 (€ 50.000)
with the support of the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union

synopsis

When her grandmother loses her memory, 13-year-old Ami is sent to live with her single father who has been estranged since her mother, Satomi, returned to Japan years ago.

Ami has an uncanny ability to communicate with spirits, and she begins to have premonitions of another devastating wave befalling Satomi’s coastal hometown. She journeys to Japan to warn her mother. There, Ami meets her uncle Isamu, an eccentric taxi driver, for the first time and they begin a tumultuous road trip.

On the road, Ami meets a boy spirit searching for his parents while Isamu faces haunting encounters of his own. Despite her unraveling emotions, Ami helps the boy spirit reconcile before continuing on her odyssey. Upon reaching the desolate coast, Isamu and Ami learn that Satomi has passed away, and Ami discovers the true meaning of her ominous visions.

As they create a bonfire to commemorate the spirits watching them on the shore, the pair of uncle and niece watch the sparks flitting towards the heavens.

intention

Coming from a Chinese-British-Japanese lineage, I was always intrigued by the history of my ancestors: the journey that brought them to Singapore and what part of that identity has been passed down to me as my “inheritance”. My grandfather was working for the navy, and my grandmother was a Japanese woman who bore witness to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Their stories of migration and resettlement intertwined with complex themes of trauma, displacement, the Second World War and the future.

As my own grandmother’s memory deteriorates, these fragments of personal history confronted me to understand myself. I intend to depict the impermanence of my characters and how they exist in parallel worlds. In this film, the scenes of daily life are presented together with the uncanny and the Afterlife – whereby the spiritual becomes a means to reconcile with the material.

I hope to bring forth an allegory for families disintegrated from the natural and manmade violence in today’s volatile world.

budget, distribution & sales

The budget of the film is currently € 480.000. We have secured € 156.000 from national funds. Additionally, the project won the SEAFIC Open SEA Fund Award, which includes a film equipment package award of € 8.500 from VS Service Bangkok and a post-production award of € 13.000 from White Light Post Bangkok. Since 2017, Shozo Ichiyama of Kino International is confirmed as our Japanese co-producer. He has been involved with us for script development and we will pitch the project to the investment arm of his company in December 2018 for € 170.000. We are also aiming for respected actor Masatoshi Nagase to join our cast as Uncle Isamu. We are seeking approximately € 130.000/140.000 financing from Europe to collaborate with a film editor, a sound designer and a sound post-production house to complete our financing.

videos

A young empath, who sees the world of the dead, travels across borders to find her long-lost mother.
5982-nicole-midori-woodford
Nicole Midori Woodford

Scriptwriter, Film Director

5852-jeremy-chua
Jeremy Chua

Production

production notes

original title
会者定離 (Eshajōri)

directed by
Nicole Midori Woodford

produced byPotocol
2 Marina Boulevard

#52-06
018987
Singapore

in co-production with
Kino International – Japan