2009.12.01 2nd Okinawa International Movie Festival Press conference

Press conference

As the looming clouds lifted, a press conference to outline the second Okinawa International Movie Festival was held at the Okinawa Convention Center (in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture), which will be one of the venues for the second edition of this festival.

Hiroshi Osaki, the chairman of the executive committee, enthused as follows: “Our major goal in staging the second Okinawa International Movie Festival is to share the spirit of “Laugh and Peace,” (the theme of this festival) with greater numbers of people, and to convey this theme to Asia and the rest of the world. Throughout Okinawa Prefecture we are establishing close relationships, both with the prefecture and with its people. We are working hard here in Okinawa to successfully stage and develop an international movie festival here.”

There were also messages from the governor of Okinawa Prefecture and from the mayors of each of the towns involved in staging the festival, as follows.

Katsuko Asato, the vice governor of Okinawa, spoke on behalf of Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, who was on official business and unable to attend: “We look forward to cooperating as fully as possible to make the festival appealing to people from all over the world (including the people of Okinawa Prefecture), and to enable the festival to be built up in a sustainable manner. We fervently hope that as many visitors to the Okinawa International Movie Festival as possible will embrace the sentiments of laughter and peace, and experience the wonders of Okinawa to the full.”

Yoichi Iha, the mayor of Ginowan, spoke as follows: “I am delighted that the festival is going to be held in Ginowan. In 1994 Ginowan was designated as an international conference city, and since 2000 it has been a tourism promotion zone. This beautiful coastal location so typical of Okinawa will make for an enjoyable venue, and I have high hopes that this event will lend fresh allure to the west coast region.”

Hiroko Yogi, the deputy mayor of Naha, spoke on behalf of Mayor Takeshi Onaga, who was on official business and unable to attend: “This will be the second year of this movie festival (the first such festival in Japan to be held in a resort), and this year Naha too will be involved. As well as being a source of well-being, a smiling face is also, I believe, key to the cultivation of dreams for the future. I anticipate that the festival will grow to become a major event in Okinawa.”

Masaharu Noguni, the mayor of Chatan, spoke next: “I believe that visitors will be drawn by the fact that there is a movie about Chatan in production and the fact that the festival is spreading throughout Okinawa Prefecture, since the plan is now to use subsidiary venues in addition to the main venue. I anticipate that this movie festival will not remain confined to Okinawa, but will spread to Asia and the rest of the world.

Yoshinori Enomoto, vice chairman of the executive committee, spoke as follows: “I hope that this second edition of the movie festival will prove able to spread its ring of ‘Laugh and Peace’ (the festival theme) outwards from Okinawa, and to the rest of the world.”

Also in attendance at the press conference were Hanako Yamada, Garage Sale, the Nankai Candies, Shizu-chan, and Ham-san. Garage Sale’s Gori, who comes from Okinawa, touted the Okinawa International Movie Festival as follows: “Since this is only the second year, we don’t have much of a track record; however, it would be great if people around the world came to associate the festival with spring in Okinawa.”

Hisaki Uchida, the chairman and CEO of Yoshimoto Laugh and Peace, then described the second Okinawa International Movie Festival in outline.

The Okinawa International Movie Festival will run for nine days, from 20 March to 28 March 2010.

This larger-scale festival which will transmit a new brand of culture from the Okinawan region to the wider world will be held from 20 March to 28 March 2010. The main venue will be the Okinawa Convention Center and surrounding area in Ginowan, while the subsidiary venues will be elementary and junior-high schools in Chatan and elsewhere in Okinawa Prefecture, and locations in Naha (the Sakurazaka Theater and venues around Kokusai-dori).