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New movie production has Okinawans in lead roles

Date Posted: 2008-12-05

The fusion of Okinawan and American cultures is the theme of a motion picture now being filmed in Okinawa City using local residents in virtually all roles.
‘Crazy Guy in the Southern Island’, a comical handling of the relationships and lifestyles of an American GI and a young Okinawan man, is in production in KOZA under management of Garage Sale Group and actor GORI, himself a native Okinawan. GORI, who holds a starring role in the tale of everyday life involving American military personnel and Okinawans, features Okinawan people extensively.

“Okinawa City has a very special atmosphere, different than any other place,” says GORI. “Mixed with the many foreigners and military personnel living here, it’s the attractive part of Okinawa City.” GORI and the Garage Sale Group has visited Mitsuko Tomon, Okinawa City’s mayor, to tell her “I can show the new Okinawa City to outsiders, and not only Okinawans.” He promised to “promote Okinawa City and let people know about it.”

The movie is to be shown next year in Chatan Town, host to
the Okinawa International Movie Festival. “I have feelings,” GORI told the mayor, “and I want to thank you and repay my feelings to Okinawan people, because I want Okinawa to be more widely promoted.”

The actor-turned-producer says “This movie is a comedy, but the last scene makes one sad and wanting to cry. I want to make movies like that.” Tomon assured the Garage Sale Group “I’m happy to hear from you, and wish your movie popularity, and hope it succeeds in bringing visitors to Okinawa City after they see it.”

Another regular in the Japanese TV variety shows, a Nigerian born now a naturalized Japanese Bobby Ologun, plays the role of the GI friend of the main character.

The movie is scheduled to have its premier at the Okinawa International Movie Festival scheduled to be held March 19-22 in American Village in Chatan under theme “Laugh & Peace.”

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