Photo: Kazuo Okubo, 2012
Encounters Along the Journey I am on my way to New York for a very exciting event – my documentary film West Encounters East ® has been chosen as an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival! Although it is open to the general public, this festival also showcases independent films to the entertainment industry, so it is a wonderful opportunity for the artists in the film to gain more exposure.
I recently returned from Japan, where we began filming a second documentary that will continue the series that began with West Encounters East ®. We had many wonderful encounters with this ancient Asian culture, and I am happy to be embarking on a new journey into the magical realm of art, where I find balance– between cultures, between individuals, and within my own heart.
Since its debut on WPBT Channel 2 in May, West Encounters East ® has been shown on more than 278 public television channels across the U.S. Recently, it opened the Brazilian Film Festival of Miami – and the very next night, aired at Cinema Paradiso in Ft. Lauderdale.
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Stella M. Holmes
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West Encounters East® on dvd
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The documentary film West Encounters East ® takes viewers on a fascinating journey into a little-known world of art: the world of Japanese Brazilian artists in São Paulo, home to the largest population of ethnic Japanese outside of Japan. The film explores the fusion of Asian and Latin American culture, history and tradition in the works of well-known Japanese Brazilian artists, including Tomie Ohtake, Manabu Mabe, Yutaka Toyota, FlavioShiró, Takashi Fukushima, Kazuo Okubo, Catarina Gushiken, and many others. The story of these artists, told primarily through their canvases, sculptures, ceramics and photography, brings to light the dynamic and largely untold saga of the Japanese presence in Brazil. The concept was developed by art historian and filmmaker Stella M. Holmes, who was inspired by the works of these multicultural artists to embark upon a personal journey of discovery.
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Revisiting Japanese Gardens Akiko Iwata
Akiko Iwata, a landscape designer, recently traveled to Japan with Stella Holmes as part of her production crew for a second documentary about the role of art in building bridges between East and West. I am originally from Japan, but I hadnâ€™t gone back to my country for a few years. This journey revealed a new perspective to me, because I was looking at Japanese culture from the outside, like a foreigner. To revisit Eastern culture through the Japanese art crafts scene was an exceptional experience, and had a big impact on me. As a landscape designer, I am particularly interested in traditional Japanese gardens, which represent the relationship between human beings and nature. Japanese people always appreciate nature, and to keep that connection we create gardens to capture views of nature in our living environment. A Japanese garden is a miniature of the landscape, and incorporates elements of its setting, such as mountains in the background. For us, it represents the universe. When we look at a bonsai tree or view the landscape from the window, nature heals our minds.
View of the Japanese garden in the center of Tokyo from the Chinzanso Hotel.
In cloudy weather, this miniature garden looks like an ink wash painting. The distant mountains serve as a background; the rocks and trees in front compose the significant landscape.
At Ugenta, a guest house in Kyoto. The river running beneath the floor provides ecological air conditioning. Under the tree branches, light and shadow create a romantic setting.
west encounters east®
West Encounters East ® on the Film Festival Circuit After airing on 278 public television channels across the country, West Encounters East ®, a documentary film by Stella M. Holmes, has been drawing crowds at South Florida theaters. On August 17, Ms. Holmes gave the opening speech at the opening of the 17th Brazilian Film Festival of Miami at Miami Beach Cinematheque. Following the screening of West Encounters East ®, she answered questions from the audience.
Viviane Spinelli, Stella Holmes, and Dana Keith
The next day, it was featured at Cinema Paradiso in Ft. Lauderdale, again followed by a question and answer session with Ms. Holmes.
mutual awareness and respect as modes of greater tolerance and more positive interchange in an age of challenge between differing cultures.
The Brazilian Film Festival is “the only international event where the public can truly see Brazil purely through its culture, amazing locations and its people,” said Viviane Spinnelli, director of Inffinito, which produces the event.
“I am pleased with the way West Encounters East ® has been received,” Ms. Holmes said. “I am very grateful to Gregory von Hausch, executive director of Cinema Paradiso, and to Viviane Spinnelli and her staff at Inffinito for these important opportunities.”
That makes it a perfect venue for West Encounters East ®, which takes viewers on a journey into the vibrant, little-known world of Japanese Brazilian artists. Japanese in heritage, Brazilian in nationality, these multicultural artists are finding new ways to give expression to issues of immigration, alienation and assimilation, creating a balance between East and West that helps to promote
Next month, she will take West Encounters East ® to New York’s Times Square theater district, where the documentary will air as an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival. Visit www.nycindiefilmfest.com/films/view/ west-encounters-east for details.
Return to Japan Gianni Toyota, Videographer After the big and noisy cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, we shot in some old, forgotten places in the countryside, on the mountains and in small villages where fishermen and older people are still living as they did in the past, keeping such traditions as Tokyo is awake The sound of silence Arts and crafts folk dancing and festivals. They still pray and respect the seasons and weather. Planting and eating I was very proud when I heard that more than 280 television channels in the healthy foods, they live with simplicity and prosperity. Artisans in these areas U.S. had broadcast our first documentary, West Encounters East ®. “That’s a big are working without any pretension of making art; they create only for pleasure success!” I thought. But I was not expecting Stella Holmes to invite me to work and to fill their hearts with peace and happiness. It is a life where it is enough on the next documentary in the series. It is an honor to do it again – and a great simply to be alive each day. challenge, because we have to make something even better! We started our journey in Tokyo again. Our first interview was with the artist Kazumi Murose, who is from a legendary family of Japanese lacquer artists. His contemporary works present a new challenge inside the thousand-year-old Japanese art craft culture.
For me, this was a journey to what we in the West have lost – a real culture, without consumerism, focused on the roots of humanity. From it, we can learn how to understand each other, how to communicate, how we can respect our differences and walk together.
west encounters east®
Upcoming Events october, 2013
West Encounters East New York City Independent Film Festival ®
Contemporary Kogei Styles in Japan Duration: Location:
October 8, 2013 – February 23, 2014 Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens 4000 Morikami Park Road Delray Beach, FL
Contemporary Kogei Styles in Japan, is an exhibition of approximately 90 Kogei-style artworks comprising ceramics, textiles, dolls, and works of metal, lacquer, wood, bamboo and glass created by 40 of Japan’s most influential and leading Kogei artists of international renown. The exhibition was organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consulate General of Japan, Miami and the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, with the collaboration of Stella M. Holmes. SCREENING
West Encounters East LA Femme International Film Festival ®
Date: October 18 – 20, 2013 Location: Producer’s Club 358 West 44th St. (at 9th Avenue). New York, NY The film by Stella M. Holmes is an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival.
West Encounters East ®, scheduled on October 19th, takes viewers on a journey to uncover a vibrant and unique art world. It focuses on a little-known population: the Japanese Brazilians, comprising the largest population of ethnic Japanese outside of Japan itself. The documentary explores the fusion of culture, history and tradition and the ongoing integration of Asian traditions into Latin American culture in the works of well-known Japanese Brazilian artists such as Tomie Ohtake, Yutaka Toyota, Takashi Fukushima, Kazuo Okubo, Catarina Gushiken and many others. Jade Matarazzo, Tanabata Festival, 2012
Date: October 17, 2013 – October 20, 2013 Screening: October 17, 4- 6 p.m. Location: The Regal Stadium 14 LA LIVE, 1000 West Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA SCREENING
West Encounters East The Orlando Film Festival ®
Date: October 16, 2013 – October 20, 2013 Screening: October 20, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Location: Cobb Plaza Cinema Café 12 155 South Orange Avenue Orlando, FL
december, 2013 EXHIBITION
Brazil ArtFair during Miami Art Week Duration: Location:
December 4 – 8, 2013 NW 36th Street (Midtown Boulevard) Miami, FL
A gateway to the biggest art consumer market in the world and a place to showcase, appreciate and encourage Brazilian galleries, generating business and rapport. Featuring an array of talents, from renowned to emerging artists, it encompasses modern and contemporary art as well as experimental art and cutting-edge design.
For more information about these events visit: www.morikami.org www.orlandofilmfest.com/film/west-encounters-east/ www.lafemme.org/festival/film-screening-times-and-dates/ 2013-documentaries-to-screen/ www.nycindiefilmfest.com/shop/products/ west-encounters-east-let-s-begin-kiss-just-add-water www.brazilartfair.com
BRAZILIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF MIAMI 2013
NYC INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL 2013
ORLANDO FILM FESTIVAL 2013
LA FEMME INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2013
A FILM BY STELLA M. HOLMES
LINDA CORLEY STELLA M. HOLMES WRICO-TWERRITER LINDA CORLEY STELLA M. HOLMES VIDEOGRAPHERS JOEL KAPLAN GIANNI TOYOTA EDITORS MICHAEL BALL RODERICK HICKS JOEL KAPLAN CURATORIAL RESEARCH AND GUEST EXECUTIVE RESEARCH CAROLINA LUCERO PERFORMED BY JORGE ALFANO MUSICIANS YOSHI K O CARLTON ROBERTO PERERA PRODUCER STELLA M. HOLMES WWW .W EST E NCOUNTERS E AST.COM LIDIA YAMASHITA MUSIC COMPOSED PRODUCERS
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