Following a successful run on the global film festival circuit, Altered Innocence has announced the North American release of Graham Kolbeins’ feature debut Queer Japan. The colorful and vibrant documentary will be available in the US and Canada December 11th via Theatrical At Home and on Digital HD, including Apple TV, Prime Video and Google Play.
Queer Japan explores the lives of Japan’s contemporary LGBTQ culture, bursting at the seams with multi-faceted and uninhibited artists as well as audacious activists fighting for equality and understanding. The documentary profiles individuals from across the Spectrum including drag queen Vivienne Sato, erotic manga artist Gengoroh Tagame, butoh dancer Atsushi Matsuda, multimedia artist Nogi Sumiko, HIV+ advocate Hiroshi Hasegawa, activist Akira the Hustler, and transgender author Tomato Hatakeno.
Through five years of development and shooting, Kolbeins and his producers Hiromi Iida and Anne Ishii conducted over 100 interviews, capturing a broad scope of gender and sexuality in Japan. “There is no singular ‘queer Japan,’ because queer people are not a monolith,” says Kolbeins. “This film merely offers a patchwork of personal experiences told by a few dozen artists, activists, community leaders, and everyday people living in Japan today. It is my deepest hope that our approach does justice to the subjects and communities we’re depicting. It’s a great honor to share the stories of THE BRAVE individuals who opened their lives to this film, and it’s my intention with Queer Japan to amplify their voices to audiences around the world.”
Queer Japan had its world premiere at the Rainbow Reel Tokyo, beginning a global tour of critical and audience acclaim. The film went on to make its North American premiere at Outfest Los Angeles, going on to screen at over two dozen festivals, including NewFest, Hong Kong LGFF, Philadelphia Asian American Festival, Mix Copenhagen and Reel Afformations.
Queer Japan was produced by HIROMEDIA8 and directed by Graham Kolbeins, with writing by Kolbeins and Anne Ishii. Hiromi Iida produced, and Ishii and Kolbeins served as co-producers.
Trailblazing artists, activists, and everyday people from across the Spectrum of gender and sexuality defy social norms and dare to shine in this kaleidoscopic view of LGBTQ+ culture in contemporary Japan. From glossy pride parades to playfully perverse underground parties, Queer Japan pictures people living brazenly unconventional lives in the sunlight, the shadows, and everywhere in between.
Dazzling, iconoclastic drag queen Vivienne Sato peels back the layers of language and identity. Maverick manga artist Gengoroh Tagame tours the world with his unapologetically erotic gay comics. Councilwoman Aya Kamikawa recounts her rocky path to becoming the first transgender elected official in Japan. At legendary kink-positive hentai party Department H, non-binary performance artist Saeborg uses rubber to create a second skin. Culled from 100+ interviews conducted over 3 years in locations across Japan, Queer Japan features dozens of individuals sharing their experiences in their own words. Get to know a vibrant and inspiring group of human beings in a country with a unique history of queer expression.
Watch the trailer here: