There are a few days remaining in the Kickstarter campaign for A Whale of a Tale, a documentary film by New York-based Japanese filmmaker Megumi Sasaki (Herb & Dorothy). A Whale of a Tale is about the sleepy fishing town of Taiji, Japan, which suddenly found itself in the worldwide media spotlight after The Cove, a documentary denouncing the town’s longstanding whale- and dolphin-hunting traditions, won an Academy Award in 2010. Almost overnight, Taiji became the go-to destination and battleground for activists from around the world. Sasaki provides the other side of the story, allowing viewers to learn about Taiji’s proud, 400-year-old ties to the whaling industry and the lifestyles of its residents.
Through the points of view of a wide range of people including fishermen, international activists, and an American journalist, the film unearths a deep division between eastern and western thoughts surrounding issues of about nature and wildlife, raising questions about cultural sensitivity in the face of global activism. Through A Whale of A Tale, Sasaki reveals the complex story behind the ongoing debate. Sasaki provides balance between both sides of the environmental arguments for and against Taiji’s whaling culture, humanizing the issues.
After having its world premiere at Asia’s most prominent film festival, the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, A Whale of a Tale has won numerous awards at other international festivals and was one of the selections in the 2017 JAPAN CUTS film festival at Japan Society. Most recently the film was screened at Asia Society on August 8. Click here to listen to Sasaki’s post-screening talk with Asia Society’s Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski.
Sasaki and her team are releasing the film independently to select theaters in the U.S. On Friday, August 17 the film will have an exclusive New York engagement at Quad Cinema and is scheduled to open in theaters in LA on August 24 and San Francisco on September 7.
Hence the Kicstarter campaign. The filmmaker is seeking pledges of $65,000 to bring this important and thought-provoking film to many other parts of the country and the world. If the goal is achieved, funds raised during the campaign will cover the costs of the theatrical releases including creating digital cinema packages (the digital version of a 35mm print, including the film’s video, audio, and subtitles), hiring publicists, building grassroots outreach, and placing ads that are required by the theaters. To contribute to the campaign, please visit the film’s Kickstarter page.
For showtimes and to purchase tickets, please visit Quad Cinema’s website. Tickets are on sale starting Monday, August 13.