First-time director Hirose Nanako and producer Nishikawa Asako, both protégés of Japanese auteur Kore-eda Hirokazu, are at the Busan Asian Project Market with the drama “Dawn” (working title).
Hirose was a crew member on Kore-eda’s “Like Father, Like Son” and assistant director on “Our Little Sister,” while Nishikawa was on the production team of several of his films including “Nobody Knows,” before going on to produce a number of films, with her most recent credit being “The Long Excuse.”
“Dawn” follows Hikaru, young, unemployed graduate who is on the verge of suicide until he encounters Tetsuro, an elderly man who has lost his son who was the same age as Hikaru. The pair become close until it is revealed that one of them is hiding a secret.
“The protagonist of the film has grown up after the Fukushima catastrophe happened, so that has an influence on how he behaves,” said Hirose. “But there is no direct depiction of the disaster in the film. The event remains a past backdrop.”
The film’s budget is $600,000, with $500,000 bankrolled by production partners Bandai Visual Company (“Gukoroku”) and AOI Promotion (“After the Storm”).
“We are looking for a Korean distributor and an international sales agent, apart from the gap financing,” said Nishikawa. Given that the “Dawn” team is the busiest at the APM by some distance, with back-to-back meetings, their goals should not be too far away. Though the meetings have largely been positive, deals have not been signed yet. This is because the English-language version of the script, a requirement of all sales agents, is being readied.
Principal photography is due to commence in March.