Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Back from Baltimore and another great screening. The Maryland Film Festival was a well-organized, well-attended event with audiences that show the kind of sophisticated viewing habits that people normally associate with NY or LA. The weekend began with a trip to Camden Yards to see a Baltimore Orioles game. The festival told us that Cal Ripken Jr., the legendary Orioles player widely considered one of the best who ever played, had donated seats to the festival. Little did we know as we got our tickets and entered the stadium that they were actually "his" tickets. The first row directly behind home plate. We went with a bunch of filmmakers from the festival and all of us had that look of shock as the usher took us down to the seats. Our thanks to Kelly and Cal Ripken for a memorable night and their support of independent film! Oh yeah, the Orioles won 6-5 which made it even better.
Our screening went well, too. Members of the Washington, DC group ReACH showed up to back the film and talk directly with people who watched it. ReACH was started last summer by Izumi Asano, a Japanese man whose cousin disappeared in 1974. His family believes he was abducted by North Korea. His support for the film and his untiring commitment to raising awareness of the abductions in the United States is inspiring. It is always helpful to us when people directly affected by this issue are able to talk to the audience.
We dedicated the Baltimore screening to a family friend who passed away last Friday. Cecilia Jacobs was a mother and grandmother who, like the people in the film, cared deeply about her children. She passed away after a long battle with cancer. She will be missed by all of us.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Don't forget we'll be in Baltimore this weekend (May 13th):

ABDUCTION The Megumi Yokota Story
Saturday, May 13, 12:30pm
Falvey Hall
Baltimore, Maryland
tickets: 410-752-8083

Don't worry DC people. We're on our way soon!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


It's now official...Toronto is the best city on the planet! On Saturday night, at the largest documentary film festival in North America, hundreds of people jammed a 850-seat theater in Toronto to see ABDUCTION. The film is part of the International Showcase section of the Hot Docs International Film Festival. We managed to get some good press from Canada's Globe and Mail, NOW magazine and Eye Weekly, three of Canada's most important papers. We also had a story in the Toronto Star about Megumi and the abductions and got an interview on CBC Newsworld. The tickets sold out well before the first show and many people were turned away. What a sensational night for the film! About 60 family and friends showed up to lend their support and gave Patty and I a huge whoop when we took the stage to introduce the film. What a great homecoming for us but an even better night for the abduction issue as many Canadians are now part of the growing number of people who know about this story. Our second screening on Monday sold out well in advance making Toronto our best outing yet in terms of numbers and overall interest in the film. Among the audience members were Jan Wong, the daring Globe and Mail correspondent whose book "Red China Blues" was a sensation in Canada. Mark Kelly also showed up, the CBC correspondent whose hard work and good looks have made him one of Canada's most watched TV correspondents. Our friend and former colleague Dennis Trudeau, who anchored the CBC News in Montreal for many years and is now enjoying life away from the camera, also made it to the opening night. Thank you Toronto for making our experience at Hot Docs one of the best so far!


We are happy to report that Megumi's Mom met with President George W. Bush last Friday. She was in Washington, DC with a Japanese delegation that was testifying before Congress about the abductions. The week was very successful culminating with the meeting at the White House which is a huge deal considering that it is the first time a US President has met with any relatives of the abductees. The momentum continues to grow in the search for answers.