Discovery Presents Winning Films From Rebuilding Japan Project


TOKYO: Commemorating the one-year anniversary of the tsunami disaster in Japan, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (DNAP) is giving international premieres to the finished films from its Rebuilding Japan initiative.

Launched on April, 26, 2011, the Rebuilding Japan project features documentaries from local filmmakers about Japan’s efforts to recover from the devastation of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Sixteen finalists were chosen from more than 250 entries to attend a three-day workshop in mid-July, where six final stories were selected. Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific also partnered with NHK and Bang Singapore to co-produce a special that will premiere as part of the Rebuilding Japan initiative called Beyond the Tsunami with Ken Watanabe. The half-hour documentary features the Hollywood star as he visits the northeastern region of Tohoku.

James Gibbons, the senior VP and general manager of Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, Japan, said: “Discovery’s involvement in Japan started 15 years ago, in the early days of multichannel television. We have strong roots and relationships in this market and are proud to be able to make this small contribution by providing the world with a better understanding of life in Japan post-tsunami and celebrating the spirit of these remarkable people. We are all part of a global community and this is our way of demonstrating our support by doing what we do best—telling stories to an international audience.”

“We received many strong submissions—the films we ultimately selected truly cover a wide range of topics across the various communities affected,” added Kevin Dickie, the senior VP and head of content at Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific. “We chose not to dwell on the past given the amount of media coverage this disaster already received. Instead, we wanted our theme to focus on the future and reflect the strength of the Japanese people.”