Film Showing in Public Spaces: Exploring an Impact of Cinema on Local Communities in Japan
This paper deals with film showing in public spaces and outdoor film screenings, and examines the relation between film showing and local communities in a case study of Tohoku area, Japan, after 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami. The paper examines how film showings have been reshaping public space and revitalizing local communities.
After 2011 Great Earthquake and Tsunami, there have been many support activities from arts and entertainment industry. Among those activities, this paper presents research on two cases of film showing in Iwate prefecture and Miyagi prefecture. In the coastal area of Iwate (the length of the coastline is about 200km), there is only one movie theater. Since May 2011, a manager of this theater has been doing film showing in elementary schools and junior high schools which are used as evacuation centers. By March 2015, he carried out film showing over 300 times. In Miyagi, since July 2011, a non-profit organization has been doing outdoor film screenings in local summer festival of Ishinomaki city. Movies are projected on the wall of a building, and folding chairs for audience are arranged at public open space which was made by tsunami. In both cases, there are various supports from movie industry, non-profit organizations, and municipalities.
Based on a case study, this paper aims to examine the role of film showing for reconstruction and revitalization of local communities. It also has a role to provide opportunities for people and communities to have cinema experience. Movie theaters also bring cinema experience, however, especially outdoor film showing provides more original experience. In other words, compared to movie theater experience, the audience of film showing in public space can have more elementary and original cinema experience.