Visual story is a powerful way to touch people’s hearts. Paper Flower & Junction Film Series DVD is a valuable visual story resource for outreach in Japan. A collection of seven short films that address current social issues in Japanese society, all of the films on this DVD are original narrative films shot on location in Japan.
Paper Flower is the longest short on the DVD. This film by has been screened at many film festivals and won numerous awards. The trailer is on the film’s website HERE and the entire film is available HERE on VIMEO. The other six short films on the DVD were written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Yu Shibuya who also wrote Jitensha, Persimmon, Cicada and Gunjo.
The following description of the DVD is from the OneHope website:
This DVD contains “Paper Flower”, a 21-minute short film, and “junction film series” which is composed of six discussion-starter films. Paper Flower is a story of childhood friends, Aska and Michi, whose young lives are marked with brokenness and disappointment. After contempt from her parents and rejection from her boyfriend, Aska considers “Enjyo-kosai”, translated “compensated dating”. It is a casual form of prostitution that has become a disturbing trend in Japan. Her decision to believe whether she is truly precious or not will prove to be the difference between life and death. This movie encompasses the crucial social issues among youth in Japan: Dysfunctional guy/girl relationships and family relationships, academic pressures, fear of man, suicide, SNS (social networking services) addiction and misled moral decisions.
In the junction film series, these six themes embedded in Paper Flower have been individually picked up in the six films. The films have been designed to be used in a variety of church and school settings. The content of the films are thought-provoking, creating more questions than giving answers, so that the themes can be discussed in the discussion that follows.
Below is an interview with OneHope Japan director Hisho Uga.
CAN: What is the purpose of the DVD?
We made these films to provide churches with an innovative resource that will empower their youth ministry.
CAN: What language(s) are the films in?
All the films are in Japanese with the option of English subtitles.
CAN: How have these short films impacted lives, do you have some responses from those who have seen the films that you can share?
We have had responses from partnering churches where youth have been given the opportunity to think critically about how to apply their faith in their life choices. Here is one response, ”The films are well made and meet the high demands of (Japanese) youth who are often viewing and creating films. The plot and content is very rich and it will function extremely well as a discussion starter!” (Marie Yokota, Hamadayama Christ Church/ Japan Bible Seminary)
CAN: Which of the films is your personal favorite and why?
That’s a difficult choice, but I guess I would choose “あれから” or “Since Then,” which is about guy/girl relationships. First of all, the issue is one that is so crucial for youth and one where many youth are misled. The film itself is light-hearted and almost satirical, but at the same time it reveals the motives that are behind the relationship choices we make and shows the effects that our actions can cause. I must note that when talking with pastors and youth leaders, every single person has said that they liked a different film. That is the reason we made seven unique films, since a different topic is timely for a different group and a different topic strikes the heart of a different individual.
CAN: Ideally, what would you like to see happen as a result of this DVD resource being available?
Our desire is for youth across Japan to be engaged with God’s Word. We are hoping for this DVD series to impact youth ministry in Japan, primarily for youth to sense a deeper relevance between their faith and the most crucial issues in their lives. We would love to see this used not only in churches but in schools as well.
CAN: How can people get ahold of a copy?
You can order it through our website: onehopejapan.net
CAN: If someone outside of Japan wants a copy of the DVD, how can they get one?
Please contact us through our contact page on our website: onehopejapan.net and we can figure out how we can get a copy to you.
CAN: Who is OneHope? What else do you do besides produce films?
OneHope is a ministry that operates to bring God’s Word to children and youth. Our headquarters is in Florida and we are active around the world in over 100 countries. The most key things in our strategy is to research about ministry to children and youth, create evangelism tools and provide them through local churches around the world and across Japan as well. This DVD was our first DVD product in Japan. We have also created booklets, magazines, cartoons, English lesson books and tracts. Though it is currently only available in English, we have created “The Bible App for Kids” and also a product called “Incredible Islands” which is an online game that connects to Sunday school classes. You can find more information at onehopejapan.net and at our global website onehope.net