On March 11, 2011, Japan’s Tohoku coastal region was destroyed by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami that followed. Pray for Japan takes place in the devastated region of Ishinomaki, Miyagi – the largest coastal city in Tohoku with a population of over 160,000 people. Filmmaker Stu Levy – an American living in Japan – filmed the tsunami aftermath during his trips to Tohoku as a volunteer and over a period of 6 weeks, captured over 50 hours of footage.
Pray for Japan focuses on four key perspectives of the tragedy – School, Shelter, Family, and Volunteers. With each perspective we meet victims who faced significant obstacles and fought to overcome them. Through these four vantage points, the audience is able to understand the vast ramifications of this large-scale natural disaster – and the battle these real-life heroes fought on behalf of their loved ones and their hometown.
Pray for Japan features an original theme song written and performed by Okuda Tamio, one of the most popular rock musicians in Japan, as well as poetry written by Fukushima poet Ryoichi Wago and read by famed actress Kyoka Suzuki. The opening animation sequence is directed by Hiroshi Nagahama and produced by prolific Japanese animation powerhouse, Studio DEEN. Post-production services were provided by Q-Tec in Tokyo, Japan.
On March 14th the film will open in the following markets through AMC Theatres: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Orange County (LA), Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, San Diego, Washington D.C., Kansas City, Toronto, and Montreal. Hollywood Theatres will also show the film in Maui, Hawaii. All profits from these screenings will be donated to Japan-based charity Japan Emergency NGO (JEN), who provides assistance to victims of natural disasters, wars, and internal conflicts.