Involved in promoting Holocaust films
-Film is a life's work that allows us to understand "the world today"
Between work and hobbies
-Yuji Sugano (Movie Publicist)
This is my ninth year as a freelance film publicist. I have promoted a variety of genres, but one genre in particular that I have been involved with a lot since going freelance is the Holocaust-related films, which has already become a genre of its own. One trigger, I believe, was a visit to the Auschwitz camp during a six-month leave of absence. I happened to visit there on the recommendation of an acquaintance and was guided by a Japanese guide, Tsuyoshi Nakatani, and was so shocked that it remains vivid in my memory to this day. I visited the camp buildings and gas chambers of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp amidst light snow and morning mist, and despite it being daytime, the air was dim and heavy, and my chest was tightened. It was an experience that I could not have felt if I had only seen or heard about it, and it was a life-changing event for me. I was also impressed by the words of Mr. Nakatani, who saw a group of German students and explained the courage and importance of people from the country of the perpetrators to visit this place. After returning to Japan, I had an opportunity to work as a publicist for Holocaust-related films, and since then, I have worked on films in this genre every year. Each film depicts a different country, position, and time period, and each time I learn a new historical fact, which makes me feel that I myself am not an expert on the Holocaust or have a deep knowledge of the Jewish people. I was unusually attracted to this genre as a general audience, although I am not a fan of the genre.
Movie = Mirror that reflects society
On the other hand, from a publicist's point of view, I am always troubled by the Japanese title and poster visuals that are the face of a film when it is released in Japan. It is necessary to consider the distributor's intention and the box-office aspect, as well as the message and intention of the director, which is why the Japanese title includes the related words such as "Hitler" and "Auschwitz". This is because it is sometimes difficult to convey the content of the film from the original title alone. The two films I am currently in charge of are also titled "Auschwitz Report" (released on July 30) and "Sinners of the Holocaust" (released on August 27), with the former remaining the same as the original title, while the latter was significantly changed from the original title of "The Greatest Crime". Although, we honestly do not know why a film related to the Holocaust has attracted so much interest and become such a hit in Japan. However, from my own point of view, there is a desire to know the truth about the historical genocide, and at the same time, such discrimination and tragedies are still occurring around the world in different forms, and for me, films are a mirror and a textbook reflecting such social conditions.
Film is now not only my job, but also part of my life's work, and it is connected to my travels. Although I cannot go abroad these days due to the Corona situation, in the last 10 years I have visited places where I can experience negative history, such as Chernobyl, Kosovo, Croatia, and Macedonia, and this is often connected to my work before I know it. I don't know if I will continue in my current occupation for many years to come, but at least film will always be next to me.
Freelance Film Publicist. After working for a financial company and a theater, entered the film industry in 2004. After working for a film distribution company, he began his career as a freelance publicist in 2001. Major works include "Im Labyrinth des Schweigens (Labyrinth of Lies)," "Die Unsichtbaren (The Invincibles)," "Kongens nei (The King's Choice)," "Under sandet (Land of Mine)," "Tel Aviv on Fire," "It Must Be Heaven," "I, Daniel Blake," "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot" etc.
He is currently in charge of "The Auschwitz Report" (released on July 30) and "Den største forbrytelsen (Betrayed)" (released on August 27).