Just a few months after we arrived in Japan, I was invited by my friend Paul Nethercott to join a small film production crew traveling to Sendai to film the story of Mrs. Fukuoka, an amazing woman who lost her house to the 2011 Tohoku tsunami and now makes jewelry to support the many people still living in temporary housing. In April 2015 through a Kickstarter project many of you helped fund, we completed our little film, “Finding Beauty In the Rubble”.
This little film has been entered into a couple dozen film festivals, accepted at most of them, and finally, this April, came home to us, playing here in Tokyo at the Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival. A few members of the crew and some friends joined our star, Mrs. Fukuoka, who came down from Miyagi-ken on the train, and one of her sons at the screening of the film. The organizers of the festival asked festival-goers to vote for their favorite short films during the festival. From the 24 shorts that screened during the festival “Finding Beauty In the Rubble” was chosen as the favorite, ensuring it would be shown at each of the 9 remaining Lift-Off film festival around the world this year.
I’m still amazed at the “legs” this film has had. Everywhere it has shown, audiences have been enthusiastic about it’s simple story about a remarkable woman who survived one of the worst disasters in history and now pours her heart and soul into helping others. Mrs. Fukuoka is not (yet) a Christian, but she certainly follows after God’s own heart.
The film has generated a lot of interest in Mrs. Fukuoka’s story and jewelry making business, with which she generously supports victims of the tsunami from her profits. To date, over $7,000 in profit has been returned to Mrs. Fukuoka. There is no way she could have generated that much in sales without the publicity from the film.
If you still haven’t had a chance to see our film, please spend the next five minutes to view it and pass it on to a friend who needs a little inspiration today. We thank God for the opportunity to share Mrs. Fukuoka’s story and for taking it around the world and back.