“Lil Tokyo Reporter,” the dramatic short film inspired by the pioneering work of newspaper publisher Sei Fujii, will have three Southland community screenings in March, each followed by a discussion session with the film’s creators.
Sponsored by the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) and Visual Communications, the 30-minute narrative film is inspired by true events, and centers on the early civil rights work of Fujii, who founded the The Kashu Mainichi (Japan California Daily News) in 1931 as a way to inform, unite and strengthen the growing immigrant Japanese American community of pre-war Little Tokyo.
First premiering in 2012, “Lil Tokyo Reporter” enjoyed a successful run on the film festival circuit, garnering 20 awards, in addition to numerous event screenings, including special presentations at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, and Fujii’s hometown of Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
“I am thrilled this little film has legs,” said the film’s star, Chris Tashima, who will attend the screenings. “We made this film to share the remarkable achievements of Sei Fujii, so each opportunity to show the film and discuss the history is important. LTHS and the producers are doing a great job of getting this story out.”
Also participating in the Q&As will be the film’s executive producer, F. Carole Fujita, and writer-director Jeffrey Gee Chin, who is currently in graduate film studies at the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts (USC is also where Fujii studied law, graduating in 1911). Both Fujita and Chin are members of LTHS, where they are involved with a planned Little Tokyo monument to honor Fujii, as well as a soon-to-be-published Fujii biography.
The free screenings will be held at:
Wintersburg Presbyterian Church, 2000 N. Fairview St. in Santa Ana, on Wednesday, March 18, at 11 a.m.;
Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 12371 Braddock Dr. in Culver City, on Sunday, March 22, at 12:30 p.m.;
Orange County Buddhist Church, 909 S. Dale Ave. in Anaheim, on Sunday, March 29, at 12:15 p.m.