Dentsu Creative Planning Manager, Makoto Nagahisa, has been awarded a World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Originality for his movie We are Little Zombies at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinematic Dramatic Competition. This marks the first time a Japanese director has won an award in the Feature Film category.
Nagahisha adds this recognition to the Short Film Grand Jury Prize received in 2017 at the Sundance Festival for his So We Put Goldfish in the Pool. Dentsu Creative Director wrote and directed this short film in 2016. The award reached in 2017 aws also a first for Japan as he became the first Japanese director, who had ever received that prestigious recognition.
“I can’t believe I received this award! Thank you! I heard that this was the first Japanese full-feature movie to ever have received this amazing prize! Really, it’s such a tremendous honor to be this surprised. Moreover, because this film was created together with many friends this epic outcome constitutes a true tribute to them as well,” said Makoto Nagahisa.
We are little zombies is scheduled for its nationwide release in Japan in June 2019.
Established by the legendary actor and director Robert Redford in 1978, and held in Park City, Utah, USA, the Sundance Film Festival is the world’s largest non-profit film festival. This year there were 14,259 entries, the highest number of entries on record, and 112 feature films were screened.
100% Japanese content is able to connect with worldwide audiences
Makoto Nagahisa is one of those creative professionals that has found the way to connect with global audiences while remaining 100% true to his local roots. On the globlal appeal of 100% Japanaese rooted content for global audiences he says: “Every screening at Sundance was packed. The film was so popular that it was just as if ‘I can’t get this music out of my head!’. I received comments from so many people saying things like ‘It is going to become a movie that is known and talked about throughout the world ……!’.
Somehow I believe this is true. I hope that your interest in Japanese people will grow as a result of this award-winning news!”
After the recognition at Sundance for his short film Nagahisa said: “…stories that come naturally to us in Japan really do have the potential to reach a global audience. The Japanese content business is narrowly focused on the domestic market, and while that may be good at times, as you would expect, it also has many drawbacks, which is a real shame. In my view, we need to have genuine confidence in stories created in Japan, and think about how to promote those stories internationally. That is really important, and all members of a production team should be aware of it, including the creators, producers and people in charge of the business side of things. By producing works with that approach, we can potentially increase earnings by multiple times. If we offer more content that is enjoyable for people around the world, wouldn’t that be fantastic?
This is the second recognition to Nagahisa’s talent out of his usual work at Dentsu. Asked on his plans for the future he answered in 2017: “A television commercial planner directing a film may seem a little odd, at first. Regardless of that, I work with a genuine desire to make interesting things. There is no rule that says I have to do the same thing. I want to direct films, as well as be involved in the character business, write song lyrics, and produce TV programs. Even an online drama would be okay. I would also like to be involved in games. Writing a manga comic series would be totally fantastic. Producing events is attractive, too.
“Making content for magazines and radio programs is also something I would like to do (but, of course, I do like film the most). Whether I do such things in Japan or abroad, either would be fine. I’m not intent on doing anything in particular, I just want to spend each day making content that people will enjoy, while always keeping an open mind and an open heart.
“Let me just mention a little bit about my work as a member of an advertising firm. Because priority goes to the product or service promoted in an ad, depending on the circumstances, the entertainment value of the ad sometimes gets left out. I am always very careful about that, and I try to create something that is entertaining,” Dentsu Creative Director pointed.
Almost 12 years working for Dentsu
Makoto Nagahisa joined Dentsu in 2007 and was assigned to marketing in the first year, then he was transferred to the Creative Planning Division 3 in 2008, where he has been working till today.
Among his main woirks they are included the “docomo dake” commercial for NTT Docomo, Inc.; “In Jelly” commercial for Morinaga & Company, Ltd.; promotional videos for recording artists T.M. Revolution and The Yellow Monkey; and the Elder Toguro Monster Strike game.
Nagahisa has been the first Japanese to receive a medal in the Young Lions Film Competition at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2013. He was bestowed in 2015 the award for best new copywriter from the Osaka Copywriters Club. In 2016 the All Japan Radio & Television Commercial Confederation awarded him the Radio Gold prize.
Image over the headline.- We are little Zombies (caption from the trailer). Watch the trailer on th links below.
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