Thursday, August 24, 2006


Japanese title will be “MEGUMI: A Family Tore Apart for 30 Years”

For immediate release

Washington, DC The producers of an award-winning documentary about a Japanese girl kidnapped by North Korean spies announced today they’ve reached a deal with a distributor to bring the film to Japan. Safari Media, the film’s production company, signed a distribution deal last week with Gaga Communications Inc. for rights to ABDUCTION The Megumi Yokota Story. Gaga has acquired theatrical, Internet, DVD and other rights for the Japanese market. The film will be re-titled MEGUMI : A Family Tore Apart for 30 Years for its Japanese release. Gaga plans to open the film theatrically in November in Tokyo where the general public will finally be able to see it.
“Safari Media is very pleased to be working in conjunction with Gaga Communications to distribute this film in Japan,” said Chris Sheridan, who, along with his wife, Patty Kim, directed and produced ABDUCTION The Megumi Yokota Story. “We hope this will help the families of the abductees and allow the Japanese people to understand this very personal, very tragic story.”
ABDUCTION tells the story of Megumi Yokota, a 13-year-old Japanese girl kidnapped by North Korean spies in 1977. The documentary follows her parents’ 30-year struggle to try to bring her home. The film opened at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, USA this year winning the Audience Award for Best Documentary. It has since gone on to win other awards as well as receive critical praise from respected newspapers and magazines like Variety which called the film, “exceptional.” The Los Angeles Times recently raved that the film is a work of “narrative mastery”.
Public interest in Japan in the film has been incredibly high. Gaga Communications saw the film in Park City and decided to acquire the rights. "This is a very strong, thought-provoking and moving film,” said Tom Yoda, chairman of Gaga. “We are very happy to distribute this film to Japanese audiences all over Japan.” Gaga Communications Inc. is one of Japan’s largest and most respected distributors. Their documentary films include Cannes-Award-winner FAHRENHEIT 911 and Sundance Award-winner RIZE.
ABDUCTION is produced by Safari Media in association with the BBC with the assistance of Fuji TV.
The Executive Producer of ABDUCTION is Oscar-award winning director Jane Campion.

For more info on ABDUCTION, please visit
For Gaga Communications Inc., contact Kei Ishikawa at
For media inquiries, please contact Yuko Kawabe at

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Finally back from LA after showing our film at the ArcLight Theatres in Hollywood. Sunday night was a madhouse with a packed audience, a ton of Japanese press and the future First Lady of Japan, Mrs. Akie Abe, on hand. We were very honored to have Mrs. Abe there. She saw the film in June in Tokyo and loved it. She's now a firm supporter of it and wants as many people to see it as possible...a pretty good person to have on your side when you're trying to promote your film. Sunday was also really special because our good friends Kathy and Amy Eldon were there to see the film for the first time. Their "Creative Visions Foundation" helped us during the making of the film but, more importantly, Kathy and Amy are the whole reason we went out and made the film in the first place. We credited them with that fact in the film. See if you're interested in their movement to support "media that matters" and to learn more about them. A couple of the producers from "Quinceanera" showed up too which was great. "Quinceanera" was the Sundance Film Festival winner this year and is now in theatres if you want to see an excellent film.
We were also joined by Tom Yoda, Chairman of Gaga Communications Inc, one of Japan's largest film distributors. He was there to show his support and to be on hand for our official announcement that we've now signed a deal in Japan with Gaga. The film will open in theatres there in November. We are so excited and honored that Gaga has taken the film. We hope Japanese people will show their support for it and the families of the abductees by going to see it (see the press release on this blog).

Friday, August 18, 2006


Here is what the Los Angeles Times had to say about ABDUCTION The Megumi Yokota Story...

But perhaps the most haunting and sadly relevant of this subset of docs exploring festering psychic wounds is the extraordinary "Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story," from Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim. The story it tells is a shattering mystery of violation and loss, if only because by the end, certain answers only lead to more punishing questions.

It starts in spine-tingling detective saga fashion with the disappearance of a 13-year-old Japanese girl in 1977 but suddenly turns into an espionage tale when it's determined that the choir-singing, beach-loving Megumi was one of multiple kidnappings at the hands of North Korean spies. And when the abductees' loved ones — including Megumi's resolute, loving parents, who became national celebrities — begin to protest their country's efforts to normalize relations with Kim Jong Il, a true-crime tale of heartbreak adopts a searing political dimension, ultimately becoming a timeless exploration of the incompatibilities of personal anguish and diplomatic reality. Then there's the question of how a tragedy such as this alters and reshapes the bonds of familial love. All this is rendered with not only narrative mastery but also an exquisitely photographic and aural sense of humanity and place, of memory and the present, with lingering interstitial shots of Japan's natural beauty and its modern metropolises that play as if Ozu had directed a sobering "Frontline" report.

Perhaps it's no wonder the ghostly ache of "Abduction" — the filmmakers' poetic sense of how the missing can dominate our lives in a way they might not have had they never vanished — captured the eye of one of modern cinema's most resonant chroniclers of souls in transition: Jane Campion, who joined the project as an executive producer.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Arrived in Los Angeles this week in advance of the Hollywood opening. The airline lost our bags so we were forced to wear the same clothes for 24 hours. But we're back on track now and ready to bring ABDUCTION to new audiences here in LA. Akie Abe, the woman who is considered to be the next First Lady of Japan, will be attending the screening on Sunday (her husband, Shinzo Abe, is expected to win the election to succeed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in September). The Japanese media has been calling us non-stop in advance of her trip. It's a pretty big deal that she'll be there. Other guests will include the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles as well as Kathy and Amy Eldon, the dynamic duo who inspired us to go out and make the film in the first place. Their tireless work on behalf of so many dispossessed people such as the children caught in the crossfire of the brutal civil war in Uganda and their continued efforts to make a film about their son and brother Dan has given us so much energy and hope.
Make sure you tell your friends in LA to come out and see this film! See the showtimes just below this blog...We will be at the first four shows.
In other news, the Asian Film Festival of Dallas emailed us last week to let us know we won the award for Best Documentary. This is number five for the film and very exciting.