by Liz Shackleton, Screen Daily
Australian sales agency Odin’s Eye Entertainment (OEE) has picked up worldwide rights to documentary Pray For Japan, directed by filmmaker and manga publisher Stu Levy.
by Lisa Foreman, indieWIRE
The filmmaker watched events unfold from the relative safety of his Tokyo TV. But like many in Japan, he had holidayed in the coastal areas where the tsunami hit hardest. "All of a sudden, I was watching it all being swept away," he recalls. "It was unfathomable. But the first thing I thought was that we have to help. So I made contact with my friends and said, 'we have to go.'”
J.K. Yamamoto, Rafu Shimpo staff writer
“The most important thing that I learned from being up there and meeting these people is that life means something,” Levy reflected. “And all of us being here together and all of us being alive and being able to appreciate the people we love around us in our lives, that’s the thing that these people taught me … They had so much that they had lost, and instead of thinking about that … they put all of that aside and they went so incredibly out of their way for other people.”
L.A. man makes tsunami recovery documentary, 'PRAY FOR JAPAN'
Roland Kelts, LA Times "24 Frames" News Blog
"JEN moved its volunteers to the coastal town of Ishinomaki, some 200 miles north of Tokyo, where needs were more urgent. Ishinomaki is a city of about 160,000; 3,000 locals died in the disaster, and tens of thousands were left homeless. The disaster left the town without its primary economic engines, fishing and farming. Levy pitched in hefting boxes and shoveling mud.
" "Maybe it was cathartic," Levy said. "When you lead a company, you feel needed. When your company fails, you feel lonely. Maybe I volunteered in Ishinomaki partly to feel needed again."
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Cultural Weekly C.Q.
"Our world moves so fast that yesterday’s tragedy quickly becomes a faded memory. As a result, the immediate reaction from film festivals and distributors was one of indifference....Fortunately, AMC Theatres saw the real theme of Pray for Japan: a story about people in the face of disaster working together to overcome insurmountable challenges.... (L)istening to their stories and how they fought is truly inspirational...."
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A Year After The Quake, A Moment Of Silence for Japan
(Japan Society NYC, the film will receive its US premiere at this event.)
"GOOD will join the Japan Society of New York in observing a moment of silence led by Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Japan's consul general in New York, at 2:46 p.m. this Sunday, March 11. We invite you to join us, wherever you are."
Tony Rutherford, Huntington (WV) News.Net entertainment editor
"Although WV is not on the list of states with cities holding a charity premiere, Pray for Japan will debut in the U.S. next week. Japan’s Tohoku coastal region was destroyed on March 11, 2011 , by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami that followed...."