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The groundbreaking documentary film, “The Manzanar Fishing Club,” will begin its first major run in the South Bay over Labor Day Weekend, starting Friday, Aug. 31, at the AMC South Bay Galleria 16, where Torrance, Gardena and Redondo Beach come together. The film will be presented in a complete digital format with six-track surroundsound and will run a full schedule of five screenings daily for at least one week.
“It's great to finally be coming to the South Bay,” said Director/co-Producer Cory Shiozaki. “So many of the people who worked on this film, including myself, are from here—Gardena, Torrance, Redondo. We've had successful runs in Santa Monica, Pasadena, Costa Mesa and even as far away as Seattle and Honolulu, but this will be our debut on our home turf.”
Shiozaki and Writer/co-Producer Richard Imamura will be featured guests for a Q&A session following the 5:40 pm screening on Saturday, Sept. 1.
“We love coming out to meet the audience,” Shiozaki added. “This movie came from the community, and we're more than happy to come out.”
With the exception of a screening on the Opening Day of the West Coast Film Festival last weekend in San Juan Capistrano, “The Manzanar Fishing Club” hasn't been shown in Southern California since early June. Ten weeks in Honolulu just concluded in Honolulu last week, with special screenings in Sacramento, Washington, DC and New York sprinkled in.
Six years in the making, “The Manzanar Fishing Club” is the untold story of incarcerees at the World War II-era internment camp at Manzanar who used to defy armed guards, barbed wire and searchlights to sneak out to fish for trout in the surrounding streams and lakes of the Eastern Sierra. In the process, they also fojund normalcy and freedom.
“It's an inspiring story about the value of freedom and the lengths people will go to just to grab back even a little bit of it,” Imamura noted. “Although we don't ignore the history, we concentrated on individuals and how they coped with a terrible situation. By doing that, we feel that we communicate a little bit of what it was like for regular folks living there on a day-to-day basis.”
Aside from Shiozaki and Imamura, who are both from Gardena, the South
Bay contingent involved in the project is extensive. Executive Producer Alan
Sutton, Narrator Scott Sutton, singer-songwriter Harold Payne (who wrote and
performed the movie's theme song, “To Be Free”) and promotion man Chris Payne
are also from Gardena, and Mas Okui, one of the internee fishermen featured in
the movie, was a teacher at Gardena High School for a number of years. In
addition, Editor/co-Producer Lester Chung hails from Torrance as does Narrator
“We're very excited to be coming home,” Shiozaki said.
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