Archive for the ‘Karakara Movie’ category

Cinema & Awamori in Itoman

June 20, 2015

Last night there was a combined cinema and awamori tasting event in Itoman at the Do-mu cafe which is also an art gallery with displays of Okinawan pottery. This was an evening for the tasting of the high class White Tiger awamori which is sold only at Naha airport. An expert gave an interesting talk on the background and history of awamori while the rest of us sampled some of the results. Her talk was followed by a screening of the Claude Gagnon film Karakara which was introduced by the movie’s producer Takako Miyahira.


A similar event will be held in Naha at Awamori Soko on the 28th June at 7 pm.

Here are some photos from last night:







Karakara DVD

December 14, 2013

The DVD of the movie Karakara was released on 11th December and is now available at CD and DVD shops throughout Okinawa. It can also be ordered online through the website of production company Kukuru Vision.

Karakara DVD

Karakara has been featured several times on this blog – not least because I was involved in a small acting role. The experience of taking part in the film and meeting the cast and staff to work (and play) with was more enjoyable than I had ever imagined. I made many new friends and have lots of good memories.

Behind the scenes: 1st assistant director Masato Tanno and Director of Photography Michel St-Martin prepare for shooting

Behind the scenes: 1st assistant director Masato Tanno and Director of Photography Michel St-Martin prepare for shooting.

I'm already in the driver's seat as we get ready for the famous car scene.

I’m already in the driver’s seat as we get ready for the famous car scene.

If there’s any reader here who doesn’t already know, Karakara is a Canada-Japan co-production written and directed by Claude Gagnon. It stars French-Canadian actor Gabriel Arcand as Pierre, a retired professor on a trip to Okinawa where he meets Junko, a Japanese housewife played by Youki Kudoh (Mystery Train, Snow Falling on Cedars). Original music for the film was composed by Yukito Ara. The movie won two awards at the 2012 Montreal World Film Festival.

Kukuru Vision:


Karakara opens in Okinawa

January 13, 2013

The Canada-Japan co-produced movie Karakara finally opened at two cinemas in Okinawa yesterday and all three screenings were sold out. I attended the first of these at Cinema Q in Naha. The movie’s star Youki Kudoh came to Okinawa for the opening and she was introduced to the cinema audiences along with writer/director Claude Gagnon, producer Takako Miyahira and musicians Yukito Ara and Isamu Shimoji. The film opens at venues across mainland Japan from the 19th January.

Some photos from yesterday:

Outside Cinema Q

Outside Cinema Q


A full house inside the cinema

A full house inside the cinema

The Karakara team

The Karakara team

With Claude Gagnon and Youki Kudoh in the evening

With Claude Gagnon and Youki Kudoh in the evening

Karakara in Hawaii, London and Paris

October 3, 2012

Claude Gagnon’s movie Karakara, set entirely in Okinawa and starring Gabriel Arcand and Youki Kudoh, will be shown at the Hawaii International Film Festival which takes place in Honolulu from 11th to 21st October.  Karakara is being screened twice, on the 14th and 15th. More details of the film, including photos and a trailer (the one with me in it!) can be found through this link:

The official website for the Hawaii International Film Festival is at

Karakara director Claude Gagnon flanked by producers Yuri Yoshimura-Gagnon and Takako Miyahira at the recent premiere of the film in Okinawa

Karakara has also been selected for screening in London at the ‘Quebec Cinema Showcase’ from 2nd to 5th November. It will be shown on 3rd November at the Institut Francais Royaume-Uni (French Cultural Institute in the UK). Further details at their website:

Karakara is then screened in Paris at the ‘Cinema du Quebec a Paris’ event from 6th to 11th November.

Karakara premiered in Okinawa

September 18, 2012

The movie Karakara was screened in Okinawa for the first time last night in conclusion of the Bonjour Quebec! cinema week. Fortunately, the weather had returned to sunny skies after a typhoon had forced the postponement of the previous day’s events. A large audience responded enthusiastically to Claude Gagnon’s road movie set on these islands. Before the screening there was a live performance on stage of the film’s theme song ‘Tumi Dumi’ by Yukito Ara (vocal, sanshin) and Isamu Shimoji (guitar). Ara composed the song and wrote the music for the film. Director Claude Gagnon and some other members of the cast and staff were also interviewed on stage before the screening and they showed off the two awards won at the Montreal World Film Festival.

Megumi Tomita (Akemi), Yuri Yoshimura-Gagnon (executive producer), Claude Gagnon (director), Takako Miyahira (producer), and Yuichi Atta (Kenichi)

Karakara is already being shown in Canada but Japanese audiences must wait until January for its general release. In Okinawa it will open at Cinema Q in Naha on 12th January 2013. It will be shown throughout mainland Japan from the 19th January at cinemas in venues including Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Aichi, Fukuoka, and Sapporo.

Megumi, Yuri, Isamu Shimoji, Yukito Ara, Claude, Takako, and Yuichi

With Karakara producer Takako Miyahira

Karakara wins double award

September 7, 2012

The Japanese-Canadian co-production Karakara was the winner of two awards at the 36th Montreal World Film Festival on Monday. The movie, which was set entirely in Okinawa, won the ‘Openness to the World Award’ and also the prestigious ‘Public Award’ for most popular Canadian feature film. I was very proud to have been able to contribute something to the film, however small.

Gabriel Arcand, Claude Gagnon and Youki Kudoh on the evening of the closing ceremony in Montreal.

Director Claude Gagnon makes acceptance speech.

Youki Kudoh

The awards make front page news back in Okinawa.

The Okinawan premiere of Karakara takes place on 17th September at Ryukyu Shimpo Hall in Naha where it will be the closing film in the Bonjour Quebec! cinema week. It then goes on general release throughout Japan in January.

Karakara poster

August 18, 2012

Here is the new poster for the film Karakara which has been produced for Quebec. It will be on display there for the Montreal World Film Festival which opens next week on the 23rd:

Original music for the movie has been written and performed by Yukito Ara and the theme song is performed by the duo Sakishima Meeting (Yukito Ara and Isamu Shimoji).

Karakara trailer

August 15, 2012

The Canada-Japan co-produced movie Karakara which has been shot entirely in Okinawa (see earlier posts on this blog) is now complete. Karakara is directed by Claude Gagnon and stars Gabriel Arcand and Youki Kudoh. The movie was presented earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival and will now be shown in official competition at the Montreal World Film Festival which begins on the 23rd August. Karakara will be shown on the 28th August.

Here is a link to the official trailer for the movie which has just been released:

Karakara – the last day

December 12, 2011

Yesterday was the very last day of shooting in Okinawa for the film Karakara. Everything went well and now begins the lengthy process of editing which will lead to the eventual release of the movie, probably in autumn next year. Below are some photos taken on the final day.

View of the Hyakuna coast from the hotel where shooting took place

Getting ready for the last shot

Gabriel Arcand (Pierre), Yuri Yoshimura-Gagnon (executive producer), Takako Miyahira (producer), Claude Gagnon (writer, director)

With Megumi Tomita who plays Akemi in the film

Claude Gagnon is interviewed

Asami (production assistant) & Shinko (direction dept) at the wrap party in Naha in the evening

Karakara in Hyakuna

December 10, 2011

On Thursday the film crew of the Canada-Japan co-production Karakara spent a day shooting on location at Hyakuna on Okinawa’s south-east coast where the opening scenes of the movie take place. It was a long day which began with the film crew shooting the sunrise and it didn’t end until almost 8 pm. Everyone is working very hard as the shooting nears its conclusion which will be once again at Hyakuna on Sunday. Here are some photos taken during the day:

Filming the sunrise at Hyakuna

A view of the coast at Hyakuna

Lunchtime with actor Gabriel Arcand and some of the extras

On the terrace with Karakara producer Takako Miyahira

Planning the next day: Claude (director), Tanno (1st assistant director), Saori (unit manager), Daniel (2nd assistant director)