The iDol Is Finally Getting The Attention It Deserves

By Norman England

To those-who-worked-on-or-supported-The-iDol-and-can-speak-English,Some of you are aware of the recent goings on with the film, others are not.

So, this is a posting to bring everyone up to speed.

The main and most important news is that The iDol was accepted into the competition at this year's Yubari Fantastic Film Festival up in Yubari, Hokkaido. The dates are March 19-23. Yubari is one of the bigger film festivals in Japan. The biggest is the Tokyo International Film Festival in November in Shibuya, but they would never a run a non-company sponsored film such as The iDol. So in terms of film festivals in Japan, Yubari is as big as it gets. BTW, the Yubari Film Fest was immortalized in the film Kill Bill Pt 1 when director Tarantino named the character Yubari Go-Go after the festival (he was a guest there once).

The iDol is one of 14 films in the competition. 12 of the other films are directed by Japanese. Only myself and a Korean man are non-Japanese (aliens, you could call us!). Supposedly they selected these 14 out of 254 entries. I have been invited to the show and will be there throughout the fest, pressing the flesh, and attending the screenings of The iDol, which there are 2: 3/21 Friday night and 3/22 Saturday night.

In addition, The iDol will be shown on Sky PerfecTV (channel 174), which is a major cable network in Japan. It will be shown on 3/22 Saturday at 12:45 PM and again on 3/23 Sunday at 5:45am. While I can live without the Sunday screening, the Saturday screening is exciting and sure to give the film a lot of exposure. I try to imagine myself as a kid sitting home on a Saturday catching sci-fi films on TV, like I used to back in the 60s and 70s. I hope I can permanently warp some impressionable Japanese boy with The iDol.

I know that it's taken YEARS for things to happen with this film, but that's the nature of the beast with independent films that are understaffed. Also, I recently re-edited the film more to my liking and only now feel like it's finished. Also, in the case of the film, it's just me doing everything. Give me a break!

Here is a link to The iDol page on cable Channel Sky PerfecTV. Unfortunately, due to a mix by the Yubari people, the trailer of The iDol being run is the sample trailer I sent when first submitting the film. While I am rather miffed about this, I expect it to turn into one of those things you laugh about later on. At least I hope so...

Here's a link to the Yubari Festival page in English, albeit some of the worst English I have ever read.

I also want to mention that last Fall I traveled to the city of Vancouver with director Shusuke Kaneko where we did a double feature screening of The iDol with Death Note. As some may be aware, Death Note is one of the biggest hit films in Japan. I rather enjoyed the fact that my 20 grand film could play with what you could say is the "Star Wars" of Japanese cinema. It was a great show and the audience reaction to The iDol was fantastic.

Thanks again for everyone's help and support. I'll contact everyone after the Yubari screenings later this month.

To find out more about The Idol, and read an interview with Norman England, visit Robo Japan's profile on the film: The iDol (2006)


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