The Congress to support and co-operate with the fight for Shochiku Ofuna Studio


To all the people around the globe who have grown to love Japanese cinema, and to all our respected peers in the movie-making industry - it is with a heavy heart that we bring you news of the present crisis the Japanese film industry is now facing.

In December of last year, one of Japan's leading film companies since the start of Japanese cinema, Shochiku Co.,Ltd. decided to sell the legendary Ofuna Studio near the historic Kamakura area on the outskirts of Tokyo, this June.

The Shochiku Studio, which has long been called home to such world famous directors as Yasujiro Ozu, Mikio Naruse and Nagisa Oshima for the past 63 years, is even to this day,considered the "Holy Mecca" of Japanese cinema. Numerous Shochiku's classic films were photographed on these lots, and the studio itself served as the training ground and launch pad for the careers of many of Japan's top filmmakers - Keisuke Kinoshita, Masaki Kobayashi, Yoji Yamada, Kaneto Shindo, Masahiro Shinoda - the list is endless. For lovers and fans of Japan's rich cinema history, it is extremely difficult to talk about Japanese film without mention of the Ofuna Studios.
The Ofuna Strudio, like any other major film studio in the world, is the essential foundation for a very large community of professionals who essentially love the cinema,and whose endless efforts behind the scenes create just as much magic on the movie screen as the legendary stars themselves.

Even so, the management of Shochiku passed a devastating reduction policy which reduced the Ofuna Studio to half its original size, leaving only 100 or so workers left, who given these circumstances, continue to create high-quality movies to the best of their abilities. In this age where we movie-makers face increasing needs to upgrade and update our filmmaking facilities, the current management policy of worker reduction,and now the elimination of the studio itself,constitutes a serious threat and challenge to the entire film industry and the history of Japanese cinema itself.
Japanese cinema has long been the singular art form of Japan that has broken down cultural barriers and enabled us to reach out to audiences and movielovers worldwide. It is with this will and strong desire to protect and restore this moviemaking tradition that we have formed"The Congress to support and co-operate with the fight for Shochiku Ofuna Studio" .

Our group consists of many Japanese filmmakers and friends who wish to protect the legacy of Ofuna Studio and its workers. Cinema lovers, filmmakers, workers and friends - please join in our fight to save Japanese Cinema.

January 20, 2000

For infomation contact Ei-en Soren

The Congress to support and co-operate
with the fight for Shochiku Ofuna Studio



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