Yuba Motion Pictures

We are a film collective in Gion, Kyoto - we want to show the world Kyoto's culture, funk, and beauty through 3 pairs of peculiar eyes.
Yuba Motion pictures
Email Verified
3 Team Members

Good day and welcome!

Thank you for visiting our project page here on indiegogo.

My name is Bjørne Hoff, and I'm a Norwegian filmmaker based in the city of Kyoto Japan. I usually write and direct, but since photography is a passion of mine I've been seen operating cameras as well. For the last years I've been travelling between Kyoto, Japan and Oslo, Norway. Oslo because I'm born and raised in those parts, and Kyoto , well - because I can never get enough of her I guess.

Yuba Motion Pictures

Yuba Motion pictures is about Gion and all of the wild, delicate, and inconsistent wonders it has to offer. This project has three directors on board, giving us an opportunity to communicate in sensitive, visual language three unique perspectives.

We are a film collective flowering on a grassroots level - with local artists, and the gion merchant community and craftsmen behind our back, we are ready to materialize this vision through local and international partnership.

We know that you already know, so here is a bit about my Gion

While staying in Kyoto for an extended period of time I found myself working at a bar in a district of Kyoto known as Gion.
And this Gion is a fascinating place. Being one of the city's old entertainment districts, it has all the qualities expected of a town of the night, but compared to other such places it's oddly charming. Cobbled streets and old world architecture meets concrete buildings housing bars and nightclubs. Paper lanterns and neon lights. Gion at night is a clash between old and new. What makes Gion interesting however, isn't architectural curiosities, but the shops and the people who inhabit the place.

In deep, narrow alleys you can find non-descriptive signs and entrances to shops teasingly forbidding in their appearance, and if you choose to unravel their mysteries by entering you may be turned away for entering a member’s only establishment, or you might be invited into the coolest of bars, having drinks with mysterious strangers.

Gion is more than the spectacle that meets the eye at the first glance. It's a forest of experiences where people live their lives, where they laugh and they cry, where they toil as hard as they play. Gion has its legends, and the lives of its denizens are the source of a thousand untold stories.

Meet the Team:

Bjørne Hoff – director

Bjørne is a Norwegian filmmaker who went to university in the UK. While studying visual effects for film and television, Bjørne realized that what he really wanted to do was tell stories, so since graduating he has been writing and directing short films in Norway and Japan. Bjørne's first real meeting with Kyoto was when he participated in the Kyoto Filmmaker's Lab in 2011, a workshop led by Kyoto film studios, Toei and Shochiku, as well as the museum of Kyoto. There he wrote and made a samurai film with young filmmakers both Japanese and international, under the guidance of veterans from the Kyoto film industry. Bjørne studied Japanese in Kyoto from 2012 through 2013, while working as a bartender at a sake bar in Kyoto. The screening of his short film «Kamogawa» At the Gion Tenmaku Film Festival in 2013 led to him meeting the other members of Yuba motion pictures and to take part in «Gion». Bjørne is also a photographer, sometimes professionally, but mainly as a hobby. He enjoys street photography, and his favourite arena is Gion at night.

Asami Shigemitsu – director

Asami is a Japanese music video director working in Kyoto and Kobe. She's originally from Hiroshima, but has been living in Kyoto since her student days. Asami studied design  at Kyoto Seika University, and as a result her work is dominated by rich colours and powerful visuals. She is inspired by Gion's mystery and old legends, and wants those elements to feature strongly in her film. Like Bjørne, Asami's work was also screened at the 2013 Gion Tenmaku Film Festival. When she's not working, Asami likes to arrange picnics along Kyoto's Kamo river. If you ever find yourself walking along the river on a weekend, look for a merry group of people gathering around a giant wooden piece of cake!

Asami`s website

Munenori Nagano – director

Is an extremely funny individual! Nagano is recognized for Giontaro, a paper doll animated series which was featured on the Kyoto NHK national television service, which makes Nagano a bit of a local celebrity. He is a leading member of the Europe Kikaku, a prominent creative theater group based in Kyoto, and plans to make a movie version of Giontaro for our project.

Check out his hit NHK Series Gion Taro!

Muenori’s Profile

Also check out his other activities on (ヨーロッパ企画)

Takaaki Tsujino – costume designer, stylist

Takaaki is a veteran costume designer of international renown, having worked for the likes of Keith Richards. He is also one of the coolest guys around, in Kyoto or anywhere. When he's not at work making sure people look stylish, he can be found Dj-ing old Japanese Showa classics at a club here in Kyoto.

Takaaki`s website

Kenji Dubois Lee – cinematographer

It's been a long time since I left Hawaii to experience the world. The endless opportunities to grow keep me abroad collecting memories, feeding interests and growing happier by the day. Currently, Kyoto is my home. There are so many interesting people doing interesting things here. I hope to contribute to this artistic community in a long-lasting positive way.

Kenji`s website

Kenji`s page on facebook

Joakim H. Sture - composer

Joakim is a Norwegian musician and filmmaker with a degree in classical piano. He is also experimenting with electronic music. Joakim and Bjørne are childhood friends, having known each other since they were 4 years old. Joakim spent 2013 journeying South America; want some amazing stories? Just. Ask. 

Akane Okoshi - creative producer

Akane studied Narrative Filmmaking at the GFS (Ghetto Film School) in Bronx, New York, and is currently based in Kyoto as a member of Yuba motion pictures. Akane's creative input on our films is invaluable, and she also wrestles the business end of things, specializing in event execution, marketing, and international liaison. When she's not working Akane is mapping Kyoto's cafe life, and she always knows where to find the coolest and coziest places.

Our films

Bjørne's film – A tale of revenge set in Gion

In a modern Japan still held by feudal rule one man must go to the imperial capital of Kyoto to find and fight the killer of his father. In a city of neon lights, samurai in suits, and bloodthirsty swordsmen plotting rebellion, inexperienced Mitsuyoshi seeks revenge against a ruthless veteran killer.


Asami's film – A young maiko discovers Gion do be a very different place indeed!

A rookie maiko at the end of her training is ready to join the professional world of performance. One night, she suddenly finds that all that was ever familiar to her - people, shops, the Gion neighborhood, has turned into a world of creatures with masks of Inari foxes and oni demons; a story of Gion's gorgeous phantom and illusionary currents.

Munenori's film – Giontaro the movie!

Taxi driver Giontaro makes a living by driving the denizens of Gion around town, and never fails to run into most fascinating struggles. The popular Japanese paper doll animated series turned into a movie, and introduced to an international crowd for the first time!

So let's get started!

We need your help to support our staff, equipment, costumes, props, and permits to film in historical places; we want everything to be authentic as possible. We also think it is important to compensate local artists and talent who are making this happen;we need your help to accomplish this and stay true to our core values.
Even a dollar goes a long way!

With that said, our goal is to get our vision out there; to show the world Kyoto in her many colors. The most important thing is to share this project and garner support. We want this to be the beginning of something big - a gateway for Kyoto’s (chorus) of visual voice(s).

Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
13% funded
No time left
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 24, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Facebook shout-out!

    As a sign of our appreciation we will thank our supporters on our facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/yubagion

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $15USD
    Postcard from Gion

    Get a postcard with a motif from Gion shot by director Bjørne Hoff.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $25USD
    A surprise from the set.

    Get a little surprise from the set of one of our 3 films!

    0 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $35USD
    Gion Theme Song Single CD

    Get direct download access to our theme song "Gion", composed by and recorded by Japanese musician Maiko.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $50USD
    Signed Script

    Get a copy of the script of your choice signed by the director. (Bjørne`s script is the only one available in English)

    1 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $75USD
    Special Surprise from Gion

    Get a special gift crafted by our sponsors, the merchants of Gion.

    2 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $250USD
    "GION" Collector`s edition

    Get a special collector`s edition of our films, including extra content such as a making-of documentary.

    0 out of 15 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014

    Unique Set Piece

    This is a unique chance, as there is only one of these. Get a unique set piece from director Bjørne Hoff`s film.

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Producer Credit

    For 1000 USD you`re a producer, and as such you will be accredited as one on the credits of our 3 films.

    1 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.
Other Campaigns You Might Like