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But we are taking a little holiday break to celebrate a very rewarding year and toast to the many adventures ahead.
I’m wrapping up 2015 by posting our mid-year newsletter first: I was thrilled to return to Chongqing this past April with FINDING KUKAN’s producer/editor Shirley Thompson and our translator/advisor Daxing Zhang to complete an historic transfer of KUKAN to China 74 years after it was first released in America.
Besides getting to see the fall colors and gorgeous VT landscape, I was able to workshop an early rough cut draft of in 2016 to celebrate two major anniversaries – the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the 75th anniversary of the Academy Award documentary category.
Much work on the film still needs to be done: music composition, visual effects, sound design, color correcting, and licensing our archival elements.
A fellowship from the New Jersey chapter of The Alliance for Learning and Preserving the History of World War II in Asia (ALPHA) and a generous donation from Douglas Ho and the Beatrice M. 2014 ALPHA Study Tour group on the Shanghai Bund (photo by Louis Au) Toronto ALPHA organizes the study tour to help high school teachers create curriculum material currently missing from classrooms.
Although we did pause for photo-ops and many great Chinese and Korean meals, much of the tour was spent in study and reflection on serious topics, and once-in-a-lifetime meetings with survivors of the war.
The transfer helps bring a big part of missing history to China by making it possible for people all over China to watch KUKAN for the first time and to study it and write about it for many years to come.
In Chongqing and Beijing, we watched KUKAN bring tears to people’s eyes as they viewed it.
Check Part 2 of our 2015 wrap up for a report on our July adventure into shadowland.
After my July 2014 trip to Chongqing, Professor Zhou Yong, head of The Chongqing Research Center for the War of Resistance, immediately recognized the great historic value of KUKAN.
He began working with us to acquire a copy of the film, and after 9 months of detailed email exchanges back and forth, we finally succeeded in reaching an agreement.
You can view some behind the scenes photographs of our work process HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
The fall brought another major gift – being accepted as one of the four documentary fellows at the NALIP ARC Female Filmmaker Residency in North Troy, VT.