DocCross Asia



Reflections on DocCross Asia: Cultural Exchange through Documentaries

ドキュメンタリーを通した文化交流DocCross Asiaを振り返って


Two documentaries completed and successfully premiered!

Eleven months have passed since production began in January, 2021. On December 4th, two documentaries on the theme of “multiculturalism,” co-produced by Japanese and Southeast Asian filmmakers, were finally completed and premiered online. After the screening, the filmmakers from Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam connected online to share their thoughts on the films and the journey to completion.(Watch the recorded event here



Online event held at a venue in Tokyo. / 都内の会場で開催されたオンラインイベント

The Japan Foundation Executive Vice President Yuri Sato gave opening remarks / 開会の挨拶を述べる佐藤百合 国際交流基金理事

The first film, "I DREAM OF CARING", is about a Filipino woman who works as a caregiver in Nagano Prefecture, and the dreams of others who wish to become caregivers in Japan. At the event, the Japanese director, Atsuko Church of Goolight, a cable TV station in Nagano Prefecture, said that this co-production enabled her to see issues such as nursing care in Japan and the working environment in the Philippines through the eyes of those experiencing them directly and realize the significance of "exchanging perspectives" as the name of the project suggests.

1本目の作品は、長野県で介護士として働くフィリピン人女性と、日本で働くことを夢見るフィリピン人看護師・介護士たちの思いを描いた「I DREAM OF CARING」。日本側の制作者、長野県のケーブルテレビGoolightのチャーチ敦子ディレクターは、今回の共同制作を通して、日本の介護やフィリピンの労働環境の問題について、日本とフィリピン、両方の目線から見ることができたと言い、プロジェクトの名の通り「視点をクロス」させることの意義を実感したと語ってくれました。

Philippines × Nagano ”I DREAM OF CARING

Atsuko Church / チャーチ敦子ディレクター

The initial project plan involved inviting Southeast Asian filmmakers to Japan to film and edit with their Japanese partners. But due to the spread of the coronavirus, they were unable to travel, and all production had to be done online.

Kristoffer Brugada from the Philippines, who served as the film’s main director, told us that he faced several challenges during the production: in addition to the infection control measures at the filming location, it was difficult to share video online and the language barrier made editing more complicated. The difference in production methods was particularly significant. As Kristoffer said, in the Philippines it is common for filmmakers not to cram too much information into a film and leave it up to the audience to fill in the blanks. In Japan, on the other hand, creators focus on conveying the details and making sure the audience understands the story. It was difficult for the team to overcome these differences in thinking and find a way to come to terms, but he made some valuable discoveries and learned a lot from this experience.


作品のメインディレクターを務めたフィリピンのKristoffer Brugadaさんは、撮影現場での感染対策に加え、映像素材をオンラインで共有する大変さ、言葉が分からない中での編集の難しさなど、これまでにない苦労があったと語ってくれました。中でも、制作方法の違いは大きかったと言います。Kristofferさん曰く、フィリピンでは通常、作品に情報を詰め込まず、ストーリーをどのように受け止めるかは視聴者に委ねられますが、日本では、作り手がきちんと情報を伝え、視聴者が正しく理解することを重視します。こうした考えの違いを乗り越え、折り合いを見つけるのは大変な作業でしたが、貴重な発見や学びがあったと振り返ってくれました。

Kristoffer Brugada / Kristoffer Brugadaさん

Vietnam project was a high-wire act

The second film, "AWAY FROM HOME," depicts the emotional bond between a Vietnamese university student in Nagoya and her mother back in Vietnam. Production was completed… the day before the screening. Due to the strict lockdown imposed in Vietnam, the crew was unable to shoot a key scene of the mother working at the market. After several weeks of waiting, the market finally reopened in late October, and the shooting wrapped up in November. With less than a month to go before the screening, the team had to walk a tightrope of editing, subtitling, Japanese translation, and sound adjustment, which gave everyone a stomach full of butterflies.

Amid all this, producer Fuminori Murase of Nagoya Broadcasting Network recalls that the co-production was very stimulating. He says he was particularly struck by the beautiful narrative footage from Vietnam. He also found the setting inspiring. Usually, reports about Vietnamese people living in Japan tend to focus on negative topics such as criminal activity or the disappearance of technical trainees, and rarely address an individual’s background or family relationships. He says that through this “human interest” project, he learned the significance of focusing simply on how this group of people live their lives.


2本目の作品は、名古屋の大学で学ぶベトナム人の留学生と、故郷ベトナムで暮らす母親との心の絆を描いた「AWAY FROM HOME」。実はこの作品、完成したのは、なんと上映会の前日でした。


Fuminori Murase / 村瀬史憲プロデューサー

At first, the film was supposed to feature a Vietnamese boy studying at a night school in Nagoya, but during the course of the film, the interview process ran into difficulties. After some twists and turns, the team came up with the current story. During that process, the main director of the project, Nguyen Nhat Duy from Vietnam, and producer Phan Ý Linh, continued to have discussions with Murase about the project’s structure. Such exchanges enabled them to stay creative even during the pandemic. And they expressed their happiness that the project ended successfully and provided them with such an invaluable experience.

作品は当初、名古屋の夜間学校で学ぶベトナム人の少年を主人公にする予定でしたが、取材が難航。紆余曲折を経て、今のストーリーに至ったという経緯があります。メインディレクターを務めたベトナムのNguyen Nhat DuyさんとプロデューサーのPhan Ý Linhさんは、構成について話し合いを続けることで、コロナ禍という厳しい状況の中でも常にクリエィティブでいようと、気持ちを維持することができたと言います。ようやく作品が完成したことへの安堵感と、数々の意見交換がかけがえのない経験になった、と語ってくれました。

Nguyen Nhat Duy and Phan Ý Linh / Nguyen Nhat DuyさんとPhan Ý Linhさん

Throughout the event, we realized once again that the filmmakers, despite numerous difficulties, were able to engage in the exchange of perspectives that DocCross Asia stands for. We sincerely hope that the two completed films will reach as many people as possible and help them to understand the dreams, hopes, and innermost thoughts of Southeast Asian people living in Japan, and become a steppingstone toward a more diverse society.

イベントを通して、制作者の皆さんが様々な困難にぶつかりながらも、DocCross Asiaが掲げる「視点の交換」を最後まで実践していただいたことを改めて知ることができました。完成した2本の作品が一人でも多くの方に届き、日本で暮らす東南アジアの人々の夢や希望、そして心に秘めた思いに触れる一助となること、そして多様で寛容な社会に向けて、一歩でも前へ進む足がかりとなることを心から願っています。

From Multiculturalism to Interculturalism

The event also featured a talk session with the creators of four of the films currently available on DocCross Asia Selection.

The moderator was Professor Yamawaki Keizo of Meiji University School of Global Japanese Studies, a leading expert on interculturalism and migration.
The guests were Fuki Kamai, then a journalist at Hokkaido Broadcasting, who produced "Kami-san from Vietnam: The Future of an Inclusive Society" (2019), Producer Yosuke Kiriyama from Aichi Television Broadcasting, who produced "Castaway Kids -Foreign Children Who Can't Go to School" (2019), Director Kenichiro Kuwa from TV Shinshu who produced "Rochman and Eldercare" (2021), and Producer Ken Unoki from Television Nishinippon who created “The Nepalese Person Near You” (2019).


イベントの後半では、DocCross Asia Selectionで配信中の作品の中から4本の作品を取り上げ、制作者とのトークセッションが行われました。

Yamawaki Keizo and Fuki Kamai / 山脇啓造教授と構二葵さん

Professor Yamawaki Keizo, Kenichiro Kuwa and Ken Unoki, and Yosuke Kiriyama joined the session online. / 山脇啓造教授と久和健一郎ディレクター、鵜木健プロデューサー

The panelists discussed what their work had taught them about creating a more diverse community. The themes of the programs were wide ranging – including nursing care, technical training, education, and community development. But they shared a common question that we should all ask ourselves: Are we taking an interest in the lives of people from overseas, and are we interacting with them in a sincere manner? They emphasized the importance of listening to the voices of the voiceless and making their issues our own, especially now that the pandemic has taken its toll on human relationships.

Finally, Professor Yamawaki advocated going beyond multiculturalism, which focuses on coexistence, to interculturalism, which emphasizes interaction among people from different cultures, in order to create a more harmonious society. In that sense, he concluded that DocCross Asia was truly an exercise in interculturalism, as the creators from Japan and Southeast Asia shared their perspectives, held deep discussions, and acknowledged their differences to create a single work.


最後に山脇啓造教授は、今後は様々な文化が共存する多文化共生(=Multiculturalism)から一歩進み、異なる文化の人々がお互いに交わる多文化共生(=Interculturalism)を意識しながら、共生社会を進めていくことを提唱されました。その意味で、日本と東南アジアの制作者がお互いの視点を交差させ、議論を重ね、違いを認め合いながら一つの作品を作り上げたDocCross Asiaはまさに多文化共生(=Interculturalism)の実践だったと総括していただきました。

Professor Yamawaki Keizo / 山脇啓造教授

The concept of interculturalism is now universal, and part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The DocCross Asia project has come to an end, but we hope each of us will continue to think about how to promote interaction with people from various countries and regions in the future.

With gratitude to all who supported DocCross Asia,

The DocCross Asia Team

多文化共生は今や世界共通の理念であり、国連が定めたSDGs(持続可能な開発目標)の中にも位置付けられています。DocCross Asiaは12月末で終了しますが、今後も歩みを止めず、様々な国や地域の人とのInteractionを進めていくことを、これからも考えていきたいと思います。

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