Montana State University

Showing of award-winning Japanese film April 19 benefits Japan relief

April 11, 2011

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Peter Tillack, Montana State University professor and coordinator of Japanese studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, will introduce the showing of a Japanese film at an April 19 benefit for victims of Japan's recent catastrophe.

The benefit will include a no-host benefit social at 6 p.m. featuring Japanese food, drinks, music and displays following by a screening of the film "Hula Girls" at 7:30 p.m.

Tillack will introduce "Hula Girls," or "Hura Garu" in Japanese. The film, based on real‐life events, is about a group of girls who take on hula dancing to save their small Japanese mining village from economic disaster. The film is set in Fukushima Prefecture, site of the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that was heavily damaged during the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The film was Japan's official entry to the 2007 Academy Awards' Best Foreign Film category.

Tillack and his wife, Noriko, have longstanding ties to Japan. Noriko, who is from Kagoshima in southern Japan, has friends in the city of Sendai, which was hit by the earthquake and tsunami. The Tillacks met while Peter taught English in Kagoshima. They were mesmerized by news of the recent disaster and frustrated by feelings that they couldn't do anything to help. Noriko came up with the idea of a film screening that would be an occasion for Bozemanites to experience Japanese culture while helping Japan during this difficult and uncertain time.

Suggested donations for the night are $10. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund.

The event is sponsored by the Bozeman Film Festival, the Emerson Cultural Center, Insty Prints, Dave's Sushi, Homepage Café, the Diversity Awareness Office and NewPeople Inc.

Peter or Noriko Tillack, tillack@montana.edu (406)582-7557