out of frame films

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The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, an all-women amateur theater group which originated in San Francisco jail, has been working in collaboration with UCSF’s Women’s HIV Program to tug these women out of the closet and to break their silence. The film takes us inside Rhodessa Jones’ workshop to witness their unique process of creating a play. Supported by the nurturing of sisterhood beyond class, race and ethnicity, these women of diverse backgrounds to speak out about their own lives without hiding traumatic events such as rape and HIV disclosure. Is it a therapy treatment? Is it art or entertainment? Or is it activism? TALK BACK OUT LOUD challenges us to face the reality of marginalized women and to examine our own perceptions and lifestyles.

■Credits:
Directed, Edited & Produced by Kaori Sakagami
Co-producer Ayumi Aso
Director of Photography Yukio Minami
Sound Engineer Eiji Mori
Music Score by Akinori Itoh
Produced in 2013




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This film unveils lives of men behind bars - but not in a traditional one. We are in the first Therapeutic Community Unit (TC Unit) in Japan’s state-of-the-art prison which holds 1,500 inmates with offences including fraud, theft, sex crime and manslaughter. With the support of trained psychologists, only forty inmates are allowed to participate in TC’s sessions to un-learn their old mentality and learn a new way of living. The camera captures an active engagement in listening and talking to one another and reveals their stories – abuse in childhood, constant bullying at school, racism, poverty, isolation and the emotions attached to these experiences. The film shows their transformation over as long as seven years after their release from prison. The film combines sand animations.

■Credits:
Directed, Edited & Produced by Kaori Sakagami
Director of Photography Yukio Minami
Sound Engineer Eiji Mori
Animation by Arisa Wakami
now in production

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Over 130,000 felons are serving life sentences in the U.S., at present -- a number that has doubled in the last decade. Behind the hardened facades of convicts, whose heinous crimes seem to merit no clemency, lie a myriad of personal stories. This documentary explores the stories of “Lifers” currently serving time in the California penal system and sheds light on the counselors, who facilitate the rehabilitation of these convicts, as they reveal their own criminal past. Their story is a profound one with much to say about the human condition.

■Credits:
Directed, Edited & Produced by Kaori Sakagami
Director of Photography Yukio Minami
Sound Engineer Eiji Mori
Music Score by Roger Scott Craig
Narration by Maya Moore
Produced in 2004