Influenced by Japanese ghost tales, this short film sets in 16th century Japan and tells the genesis of the mythical creature that eats confessed secrets.

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This campaign is fiscally sponsored by San Francisco Film Society and all donations are tax deductible.

For more information, please visit www.mitsu-ju.com

The short narrative film Mitsu-jū is about the genesis of a monster called Mitsu-jū “secret beast” that consumes people’s secrets. This original story is inspired by Japanese folk stories and set in 16th century Japan. It follows a female shaman Shizume who discovers a dark and violent secret of her feudal lord Tadayoshi. With the crew of both San Francisco Bay Area and Japanese filmmakers, film is schedule to be in production during the month of January, 2013 on location around Nagano, Japan.

We are raising $25,000 to start and finish the filming of this film. All of the money raised will be spent on production, i.e. film stocks, equipment rentals, location fees, and transportations.  Our crew from the U.S. volunteered to pay for their own traveling expenses to Japan. We are planning on local businesses in Nagano Japan to support the production catering.

You will be investing on this great project, but will also investing on something more meaningful to our community. The production of Mitsu-jū is intended to connect filmmakers from Japan and the San Francisco Bay Area and to establish collaborative relationships that can bridge two communities for the future projects. Several young filmmakers from the Bay Area have agreed to travel to Japan for the production, and we are currently working with a filmmaker in Japan to recruit crew members. We hope the production of Mitsu-jū can inspire some young Japanese filmmakers to come to the Bay Area to shoot films of their own.

Upon completion, Mitsu-jū will be shown at public screenings that combine the film with live interactive theater and music. The director, Nao Nakazawa, envisions Mitsu-jū as a modern ritual where people can experience catharsis by sharing common feelings. At the end of the film, we see that the myth of Mitsu-jū is passed down in a secret-sharing ritual. Before the screening, masks and black robes are given to the audience members. When the film ends, a Shinto priest instructs the audience to put on their costumes. Then the live music and dance performance ensue and the audience is encouraged to join the masquerade. As the ritual comes near its end, the participants are asked to share their own secrets.

The production will seek screening around the Bay Area. Upon local success the production will seek screening in other metropolitan cities in the U.S. and Japan.

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