Kore-eda Hirokazu Calls For Reform of Japanese Film Industry, Launches Lobby Group

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Back in Japan after his Korean-language drama “Broker” won two prizes at this year’s Cannes festival, Kore-eda Hirokazu appeared as a press event in Tokyo on Tuesday to announce the launch of a group of industry professionals who aim for structural reform of the Japanese film industry.

The group calls itself the “Association for the Establishment of a Japanese Version of CNC.” The reference is to France’s government-backed oversight body, the Centre National du Cinema et de l’Image Animee.

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Kore-eda noted the low incomes and long working hours of freelance filmmakers and emphasized the need for reform. “We started meeting with the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren) last spring,” said Kore-eda. “We have also had discussions and study sessions with various other organizations, and now we have decided to launch a group calling for the establishment of a Japanese version of the CNC. We do not expect any major changes here, but we hope that we can push forward and improve the working environment in the film industry, even if only a little.”

In addition to Kore-eda, directors Suwa Nobuhiro, Sode Yukiko, Nishikawa Miwa, Fukada Koji, and Funahashi Atsushi were present. All are members of Eiga Kantoku Yushi no Kai (literally, Volunteer Association of Film Directors), a group devoted to improving conditions in the industry. For nearly a year, members have been discussing ways to establish a Japanese equivalent of the CNC. Another model is the Korean Film Council (Kofic), a government organization that performs CNC-like functions in South Korea.

As outlined at the presser, Japan’s version of the CNC should provide support for film financing, distribution, education and a healthy work environment. As in France, revenues from theaters, broadcasters, and distributors would be used to subsidize production. Also, the new organization should implement concrete measures to prevent sexual and power harassment in film production, including professional seminars and guidelines.

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