Wednesday, March 29, 2006

NPR Radio Interview

NPR will be airing an interview with us soon. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, here's a comment from the NPR reviewer...

It's hard to stop watching Abduction not just because it unfolds with all the nailbiting tension of a mystery, crackling with international intrigue. The courage of Megumi Yokota's family, making their private pain so painfully public, makes the film glow with love. And that is the point of entry for anyone into this riveting documentary.

-NPR affiliate in San Francisco

Monday, March 27, 2006



Washington, DC A film documenting the kidnapping of a 13-year-old Japanese girl by North Korean spies picked up two more awards bringing the film’s total to three. “ABDUCTION The Megumi Yokota Story” took home the Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the largest festival of its kind in North America, and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Omaha Film Festival.
The San Francisco award was announced at the closing night ceremonies on Thursday, March 23rd while the Audience Award in Omaha was announced Sunday, March 26th. “We’re totally thrilled,” said Chris Sheridan who directed “ABDUCTION The Megumi Yokota Story” along with his wife Patty Kim. “You couldn’t get two more different cities yet we had a fantastic audience response in both proving this film plays well in big cities and in the heartland.” Added Kim, “The story simply touches people no matter where they're from.”
The awards mark the second and third ones for the film. After the premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival in January, the film won the Audience Award for Best Documentary. “ABDUCTION” follows Megumi’s parents as they battle to bring her home after learning the truth about her disappearance. Jane Campion, the Oscar-winning director of “THE PIANO”, is the film’s Executive Producer. The film’s played to sold-out audiences in every city so far, receiving rave reviews from critics. Cleveland’s Plain Dealer made “ABDUCTION” one of the top five films to see at the Cleveland International Film Festival while the San Francisco Chronicle called the film “affecting”.
“ABDUCTION” now travels to the Independent Film Festival of Boston where it will open on Saturday, April 22 and then the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, the largest documentary film event in North America, where it will make its Canadian debut on Saturday, April 29.

For more info visit
For press inquiries, please contact Yuko Kawabe at 1-703-350-3616

For the Independent Film Festival of Boston visit
For Hot Docs info visit

Friday, March 24, 2006


Check out our interview with the Cleveland Film Society. You can listen to it on this website...

You need to scroll down a little to find it but it's there.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Dear Patty & Chris,

I attended last night's premiere of Abduction at the SF Asian American Film Fest. I thought you guys did a great job portraying the anguish and persistence of the families. I lived in Japan from 01-04, and I remember what a huge deal this was. Anyway, I decided to check out the Japan Times online version this morning, and found a rather gruesome story about related to the abuction issue:

As well, I didn't get to sign the book for the families last night and would like to write a letter of support to the Yokota's.

Thanks for making this film!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Morning here and the sun has finally come out after days of rain and clouds in San Francisco. We had our screening last night at the Kabuki Theater. The tickets were sold out days in advance and it was a standing-room only crowd. A fantastic audience that was totally engaged in the story. It was also probably our most diverse crowd yet...not just ethnic diversity but a real range in ages which is always super encouraging to us. Eric, one of the producers from "Eve and The Fire Horse" (, a Sundance award-winning film, was there. We were really honored and excited when our friends Roko and Adrian Belic showed up. These two dynamic men were the filmmakers behind the fantastic documentary "Genghis Blues" that won all kinds of awards and was nominated for an Oscar. Our friend John Wood also came out to support us and hosted a party afterwards that went into the wee hours. John started "Room to Read" (, a non-profit organization that helps build schools and libraries all over the world. John left a fancy job at Microsoft to do that, which has always been a huge inspiration to us. A great outing in San Francisco! This morning I got this email from an audience member at the SF screening...

"This is a very powerful movie. My wife and I were extremely impressed, all the more so because we’ve spent so much time dealing with Japanese and Korean issues throughout our lives. (She leads a much more interesting life than I do, but hey...) The next time you’re in San Francisco, please allow a fellow Quebecois to buy you dinner.

Again, much kudos for a magnificent film."


Saturday, March 18, 2006



We're in Cleveland and spent yesterday trying to weave through the St. Patrick's Day crowds on our way to our opening at the Cleveland International Film Festival right in the heart of the city. The Cleveland newspaper picked ABDUCTION as one of the top five films to see at the festival. The review is below. The screening went well and a lot of tears and anger afterwards. Probably one of our most engaged crowds yet. One woman left the theater unable to speak to us because she was so moved by the whole experience. We only wish the Yokotas could see these people and how they're reacting. Non-Japanese crowds are really responding to the story with a lot of emotion. One man left saying he would write Japan's Prime Minister a personal letter asking him why more can't be done for these families...

FROM THE PLAIN DEALER (Ohio's largest newspaper)

Answers create more questions in mystery over disappearance
Friday, March 17, 2006
Clint O'Connor
Plain Dealer Film Critic
A 13-year-old girl heads off to school and is never heard from again.

The nightmare every parent dreads hit the Yokota family Nov. 15, 1977, when Megumi disappeared from Niigata, Japan. Her parents and younger brothers mourned her loss but didn't know what happened. Was she kidnapped? Raped? Beaten?

Finally, after much digging by journalists and information from a defector, the mystery had some answers: North Korean spies had abducted not just Megumi but 12 others, mostly young Japanese couples. They were used as test studies for spies who would later pose as Japanese citizens on various global missions.

The Yokotas waited 20 years for any information about their missing daughter and would have to wait seven more for anything remotely definitive. Was Megumi still alive? Would they see her again?

Filmmakers Patty Kim and Chris Sheridan spent years pulling together the pieces of the Megumi puzzle. The result is a provocative documentary with surprise twists and an insightful glimpse of Japanese-North Korean relations.

Megumi's parents never abandon their quest for truth. Her mom finds comfort in the Book of Job. "God can take anything away from you at any time. It's tragic," she says. "But it's what you do with the sadness that matters."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Remember to let your friends, families, colleagues know about the screenings this weekend and next week in Cleveland, San Francisco and Omaha. Here are the dates...

Cleveland International Film Festival
Friday, March 17, 2:45pm
Saturday, March 18, 4:15pm
Tower City Cinemas
Tickets: 1-866-865-FILM

San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
Tuesday, March 21, 6:45pm
Kabuki 8 Theaters
Tickets: 1-415-865-1588

Omaha Film Festival
Saturday, March 25 at 11:00am
Blue Barn Theatre
Tickets: 1-402-203-8173

Monday, March 13, 2006

San Francisco review

Hi everyone,

Gearing up for Cleveland and San Francisco this week. Please remember to tell you friends and family (Cleveland, Friday March 17 2:45pm, Saturday March 18th 4:15pm at the Tower City Cinemas...San Francisco, Tuesday March 21, 6:45pm, Kabuki 8 Theaters). In advance of the March 21st showing of ABDUCTION at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, we got this review...


Unfortunately, your correspondent did not see many of what looks like an intriguing slate of documentaries at this festival, but two worthy of mention deal poignantly with North Korea. Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim's "Abduction" is about Megumi Yokota, a 13-year-old schoolgirl who disappeared while on her way to school in 1977. Her family gave her up for dead until 2002, when North Korea admitted that Megumi was one of 13 Japanese citizens abducted to teach Japanese language and culture to North Korean spies. Her family's persistence and determination in their search for Megumi is the heart of this affecting film.
(Tue., March 21, 6:45 p.m.; Kabuki 9 Theatres)

Friday, March 03, 2006


Dear Patty and Chris,
After viewing ABDUCTION at the Sedona Film Festival, I want you know how much this documentary touched my heart! Congratulations on creating such a fine documentary. You have captured a parent's grief dealing with a life long quest to find their beautiful daughter, Megumi. The struggle that all of the families depicted in your film have endured is heartbreaking and reminds us how cruel it is to keep any innocent human against his or her will. As a mother, I can identify with the sheer frustration and agony that each family member has had to endure these many years.
Thank you for telling this important story. I am wearing Megumi's pin in honor of all of you who fight the good fight!
Good luck on getting this important message out to the World!
Sedona, AZ

I met you guys at the sedona film festival, and was happy to talk to you for a bit about your movie. I gotta say, it was amazing. Very few movies move me in a way that this one did, and I'll admit it was the first one to make me cry. That says a lot because I'm not the crying type. I'm currently a college student at Arizona State University and just wanted to know if there was anything I could do on campus to get the word out on these horrible attrocities. Sadly, I've talked to various people about this movie and none of them knew about the abductions by North Korea. Maybe they don't follow the news, or maybe it's just not really being reported much in the U.S. Whatever the case, great movie, and I hope as many people as possible see this film