A portrait of infinite love expressed through movement and sound.
Interview with Writer/Director Hikari aka Mitsuyo Miyazaki
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Where We Begin was originally inspired from the experience I had when someone I loved had passed away. After witnessing a spirit becoming light itself, transferring into the afterlife in a very symbolic way, it was an undeniable fact that what I experienced was much greater than something I could put into words. This led me to create my vision in a way that would incorporate dance movement into a narrative film and express the emotional journey through visual expressions.
My goal was also to create a film that is universal and to share the film around the world including for those with hearing impairments, so that anybody can understand it and experience the film. I also wanted to include our ongoing social issues in an artistic way, to show how strong us human beings can be, and how there is always a positive outcome if we choose to live our lives positively.
It has been a very challenging process making this film – fighting with the weather, filming in nature, and working with non-professional volunteer dancers and extras – but best of all, it was the most rewarding experience I have ever had in my life, and I would do it all over again.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
This is a film that says so much and yet it has only one sentence spoken in the entire film. It challenges your thoughts and visual space while traversing many emotions and feelings. It is a film that stands apart from others in storytelling, a unique approach which shares a story of two lovers forbidden to be with one another because of circumstance and survival. You should watch this film to be entertained and provoked as you experience dance as a narrative cinematic sensory explosion.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I believe in the power of visual communication and that it changes society and the minds of the people. The messages in all her films are based on love and interwoven into her characters in a way that can only leave you to understand emotions closer than before. The exploration of being human is the common theme inside of all her films. Miyazaki is the curiosity for love inside each of us exploring from a realm we often overlook within ourselves.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
This project was in my heart for several years till one day I decided to make it. I knew what I wanted to say, but it wasn't until I went to the physical locations in the movie that the film began to speak to me asking for specific requests. This film guided me every step of the process, differently than my other films. I was a passenger in this love story, I had a map and I was navigating but ultimately the film was driving. It was an amazing experience in trust.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Everyone whom has seen the film is touched by it. We have been in many festivals and have earned many accolades, but the most important award has been the audiences. The genuine inquisitive nature in which they yearn to know more or share how they felt watching it has been the most rewarding.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The feedback has been all positive and nurturing. I could not really say it has challenged my point of view. I would say that healed many people that have had similar struggles to the characters and that they have shared that freely with me and my team. I would say that I was surprised of how little negative feedback or opinions we have received with Where We Begin.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
My next film is a narrative feature and touches on important issues in Japan, my hope would be that a distributor would be interested in financing my next film and assisting in creating a future with my body of work. I have so many stories that are in me that what I am looking for is partnerships to create them. Also, to have this film be seen by as many people possible.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
This film is looking for anyone and everyone that believes in it and that it could go further. Ultimately, the goal is to share it, that is why I create. My voice is in each of my films and I want nothing more than for them to be seen and heard. Any partnership that assists in amplifying these messages are all welcomed and nurtured.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I want any and all audiences to feel, to think and to question themselves and their situations in life within a manner that causes them to be greater versions of themselves.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
The theme that this film carries is one of love. You should ask yourself why we as humans have so many rules to something like love that should have no borders or limits. Limitations by society in regards to the unknown places limits on us and our children by default, if we keep exploring new ways to tell stories, hopefully one day we could see a film that by just watching it causes us to ALL be in agreement that LOVE should not have rules or limitations and that it cannot be contained by opinions or perspectives.
Would you like to add anything else?
I hope you enjoy the journey of Where We Begin.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
My producer Peter Maestrey and I are now developing our next feature film "Cantering" which will be filmed in Japan sometime in 2017. I am currently in Sundance Institute's NHK writer's lab 2016 working on the script. We have partial funding in place and hope to be casting in early 2017. We are also forming a company that will cultivate my career as a filmmaker and also assist in developing new talents with Peter and I guiding them.
Interview: August 2016
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Where We Begin
A portrait of infinite love expressed through movement and sound.
Length: 19 minutes 58 seconds
Director: Mitsuyo Miyazaki
Producer: Mitsuyo Miyazaki, Peter Maestrey, Yvonne Jimenez
Writer: Mitsuyo Miyazaki
About the writer, director and producer:
Mitsuyo Miyazaki is an award-winning writer, producer and director, receiving over received 50 awards globally amongst all her films. She is an eloquent storyteller.
Iris Karina as SOPHIA
Arielle Elonys as YOUNG SOPHIA
Derrick Butler as LEO
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Sales Agents, Buyers, Distributors, Film Festival Director's, Journalists and other Producers.
Funders: Anyone willing to and it is their self expression to finance and nurture stories will always be welcomed into our pack.
Made in association with:
2015 was the world premiere in Tribeca International Film Festival
Where can I watch it in the next month?
DC International Film Festival